Syria: another Christian village falls to Muslim terrorists

Christians in the village of Kanaye see that Islamists are repeating a pattern of invasion, massacre, and threats of forced conversion. Muslim children are being recruited to kill Christians.

Islamist extremists have invaded yet another majority-Christian village in Syria, threatening to massacre the Christians there and impose Islamic law. According to Catholic Monsignor Giuseppe Nazzaro of Aleppo, Christians of Kanayé – which is located along the Orontes River in the Idlib region – report that Islamists have repeated a pattern there that has been witnessed elsewhere: invasion, followed by terror, abductions, murder and destruction. "In Kanayé Salafi militants and the jihadists of 'Jabhat al-Nousra' have imposed on the pastor not to ring bells. Women must not go out on the street bare-headed, but must be veiled. And if they do not obey these orders, the threat is massacre", said Msgr. Nazzaro, according to the Fides news service.
 
“We are facing what they have already done in the nearby village of Ghassanieh for over a year. In Ghassanieh they warned the residents to leave the village immediately, otherwise they would have killed them, and they got the desired result: to occupy the village with what Christians possessed. In Kanayé, they have not imposed on the population to leave but to live according to the Islamic law". According to Msgr. Nazzaro, "this could be the first step: tomorrow they will force them to convert to Islam."
 
 A priest of the Greek Catholic rite, Fr. George Louis of the devastated and burned village of Qara, explained, "Maalula, Sednaya, Sadad, Qara and Deir Atieh, Nebek: armed jihadists target a village, they invade it, kill people, burn and devastate it. For civilians, Christian or non-Christians, life is always more difficult. The foreign militia act out of the control of our Syrian Free Syrian Army (FSA) compatriots, who instead respect everyone, and they do not want to raze the entire country"
 
Reflecting on the plight of refugees who have fled the country because of the fighting between Islamists and the Assad government, Maronite Catholic Archbishop Samir Nasser of Damascus, likened their current living arrangements to the poverty of Jesus Christ. "In Syria thousands of children who have lost their homes are living in poor tents just like the stable in Bethlehem". 
 
In a Christmas message Archbishop Nassar described the feelings shared by many Syrian Christians as yet another holy day harrowed by war approaches. Said Archbishop Nassar, "Jesus is not alone in his misery. Syrian children, abandoned and marked by scenes of violence, dream of being in Jesus’ place, who always has his parents around him and caress him. (...). Some envy the Divine Child who found a stable where to be born and have shelter, while among these unfortunate children there are those who were born under the bombs." The Virgin Mary, said the archbishop, "is no longer alone in her difficulties: many unhappy and unfortunate mothers live in extreme poverty and carry all the family responsibilities on their shoulders, without their husbands ... The reassuring presence of Joseph at the Holy Family arouses jealousy among the thousands of families deprived of their father. An absence that fuels fear, anguish and anxiety."
 
In his message, the archbishop expressed dismay that there appears no promise of joy or peace for this Christmastide. "The infernal noise of war stifles the Glory of Angels."
Reports have emerged that extremist Muslim religious leaders are calling on children to join the fight and kill Christians. See link here for video in Arabic: Linga


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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