Syrian Priest Tortured to Death By Islamists: Eyes Gouged Out Before Murdered
Christians in Syria, both Orthodox and Catholic, are increasingly becoming targets in the Syrian Civil War. The Christian news portal Compass Direct News is reporting of the torture and subsequent murder of a Syrian Orthodox parish priest caught up in the violence of the Syrian Civil War. As reported, Father Fadi Haddad recently left his parish in the town of Qatana to negotiate the release of one of his parishioners, who had recently been kidnapped. Only a week later was the holy man's dead and mutilated corpse found along a roadside. Fr. Haddad had his eyes gouged out, presumably done while he was still alive. A fellow pastor who personally knew Fr. Haddad was quoted;
"Father Fadi's superiors had asked him why he kept traveling back and forth between Qatana and Damascus. He responded: 'I cannot not serve Jesus, I need to help people, that is why I have to move around.'"
It is believed by many Middle East watchers that most of the Christian minority in Syria (10 percent of the total population) support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad due to the current national constitution that guarantees Christian freedom of religion as well as the right to own and operate Christian schools. Islamists within the Syrian Army of Liberation had declared their support of a Shari'a law run Islamic state in the place of Assad, thusly guaranteeing Christians are counted among their enemies. Christian Genocide, Again... According to a report from the official Vatican News Agency Agenzia Fides, Christians in the Bustan Al Diwan and Hamideh neighborhoods in the city of Homs, Syrian Orthodox sources have informed them;
"Some Christian families in the two districts had been thrown out by militant Islamists. Other sources in Middle East countries have repeatedly spoken of the militant Islamic extremists travels from Libya, Iraq and other nations toward Syria, with the aim to infiltrate in the ranks of the Syrian Army of Liberation."
The report went on to state;
"A year ago, before the start of the fighting, there were in town, on the whole, 160,000 faithful and four Bishops of various denominations (Antiochian Orthodox, Melkite Catholics, Syriac Orthodox and Assyrian Orthodox). In Homs there are [now] about 1,000 Christians."