ASIA/SYRIA - The Christian community asks for the release of an Armenian singer and seven others kidnapped
Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - Sam Ghannoum is a young 28-year-old Christian Armenian songwriter. He comes from an Armenian family who live in a suburb of Aleppo. He is known in the community for his compositions made of eastern classical, soft and captivating melodies, and for songs that present the Christian message of love and peace. Sam is also one of the young Syrians who, in recent months, on Facebook, criticized the government and said he was close to the original ideals of the Syrian revolution: democracy, freedom, human rights. This is why he began to receive threats and intimidation to stop his publications. About twenty days ago, on October 15, Sam was taken by the Syrian secret services and since then there has been no news of him. His family, as reported in a message sent to Fides by the group "Syrian Non-Violence Movement", is in pain, in fear for his life, and reaffirm "the good faith and the purity of Sam’s ideals" and ask for his immediate release. According to local sources, Sam seems to be held by the "Air Force Intelligence" in Aleppo.
"I am a 28-year-old singer and I love music," this is how Sam presented himself to his listeners. "Music for him is a powerful means to touch the hearts and evangelize," says a source of Fides in Aleppo. Among the latest poetic words he left, Sam said: "I have been denied freedom, I am not allowed to think, but ideas and words have no fear of death. Now I am left with tears of sadness, my heart has been killed." The Armenian community of Aleppo asks, hopes and prays for Sam’s release, so he can go back to writing songs and spreading the message of Christ's love through music.
Seven other Armenian Christians were kidnapped a few days ago while they were on a bus traveling from Aleppo to Beirut. According to local sources of Fides, the kidnapping is the work carried out by unidentified armed gangs operating in the galaxy of forces opposed to the regime. The demand for a ransom is expected, according to a practice that appears to have consolidated on the ground of struggle. "To suffer the most serious consequences of the conflict are innocent civilians," concludes our source. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 06/11/2012)
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