NESSL: What else is waiting for the Syrian Christians?
By Dr. Mary Mikhael*
As our Armenian brothers and sisters are commemorating the Hundred Anniversary of the massacre inflicted on them in early 20th century, we watch with great sadness and are stunned by the news of Christian villages in the Northeast of Syria being criminally attacked by ISIS. killing, kidnapping, destroying churches and homes, and causing thousands of families to be displaced.
The Assyrian Christian community have lived in those villages for many centuries, now they are scattered with grief for the lost members, scared for the kidnapped, and seeking shelters in neighboring cities.
As assaults and attacks against the Christians move from one area to the other we ask, what else must we expect when ISIS moves freely with it’s arms behaving as if sent from above to kill and to destroy?
No one has forgotten the scenes of Maaloula [Syria], when it’s churches and monasteries where attacked, or the churches and cathedrals in Homs were destroyed, or the Christians leaving their homes to safer areas and being displaced. Now the scene of Christian villages being attacked is renewed.
Indeed there is fear and deep concern among the Christians as well among all who lived in Syria with peace and security.
We Christians must never forget what our Lord said to his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I overcome the world.”
In the Northeast of Syria we do have Presbyterian churches, especially in Hasakeh and Qamishly. We have been in contact with the pastor and some session members who said, “there are thousands of families who fled the attacked villages.
We are trying to provide help with our limited resources. The pastor continued to say, people are in a state of fear and caution, most especially in Hasakeh, being so near to the attacked Assyrian villages.
Stories about burned churches, and kidnapping men, women, children, as well as priests create deep concern. What will happen to the kidnapped is a big question, most specially that there is a threat to kill them. O God Almighty please have mercy and intervene. Our hope rests in you alone.
We as the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) abhor all violence against the Christians and against any human being. We are trying to provide help in every way we can to ease the suffering and the pain of so many.
We appeal to all who love peace and justice to cry with us to the God of life and hope for this tragedy to come to an end.
Our friends please continue to pray with us.
*Dr. Mikhael is a staffperson for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, the immediate past president of the Near East School of Theology, and a former member of the Common Global Ministries Board of Directors.
The United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) continue to offer support for the work of many partners in the region to provide humanitarian response to the needs of Syrian refugees. Please consider supporting the work of Global Ministries’ partners’ relief efforts in and around Syria. You can do that through One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC), the Week of Compassion (Disciples), or through Global Ministries directly.