Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Evidence from Syria of deaths in detention

Today I bought a copy of The Guardian when I saw the front page bottom headline, Evidence of killings in Syria could be 'tip of iceberg' by Martin Chulov.  It is no surprise to me that there is compelling evidence of war crimes in Syrian jails. At least 11,000 people have been killed while in detention. And it is estimated that 50,000 detainees are missing.

Yesterday there were images on our television screens of starvation and torture as a result of a brutal regime. These images on the BBC News were reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps at the end of the Second World War. There is no doubt in my mind that crimes against humanity on a staggering scale have been committed.

Christian communities are suffering severely from both sides in the conflict. They have been driven out of their homes and deprived of their possessions, jobs and access to churches; some religious buildings have been destroyed and desecrated. The Christians presence in Syria goes back to the time of the early church and the Apostle Paul in Strait Street, Damascus. Many Christians have fled to refugees camps and to safe havens.  The Barnabas Fund is trying desperately to help them, believing that the future of the Syrian church is under threat. Syrian Christians are persecuted and are dying for their faith. In the past they were well treated and lived harmoniously with their Muslim neighbours in certain areas. They fear living in a harsh and oppressive Islamic state. Currently the future looks extremely bleak for them and the whole country.

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