Christians murdered for not joining ISIS: “I was born Christian, I will die Christian”

Aid to the Church in Need has revealed the situation in Syria after eight years of ongoing civil war.

The country’s reconstruction is more difficult for minorities, especially Christians. They had suffered from the armed conflict and the persecution by Islamic fundamentalists.

Fr. Talal Mtanis Taalab is from Maaloula. He recounts how in his city, many who were once neighbors became persecutors. One day they entered his house and killed various members of his family and friends.

After a long discussion my family members said: We were born Christians and we will die Christians. They killed the first, surely after having tortured him. It was the same with the second, the only son and a very peaceful man. They did the same to an engineering student. They told him he had to decide; if he wanted a future, he had to join them. He gave them the same answer: I was born Christian and I will die Christian. They killed all three with shots to the head and the heart.

Aid to the Church in Need has set in motion various initiatives to raise funds to help Christians in Syria. Since 2011, it has undertaken 813 projects and allocated almost 40 million dollars. These are projects to rebuild not only houses, but also the hearts of the people who inhabit them.

We pray for each family, each mother, each brother, because they still shed many tears. May God grant them comfort and peace.

The Syrian population has fallen from 22.5 million to 18 million. Of these, 12 million have lost their homes. Furthermore, 80 percent of the total population finds it difficult to access potable water. Sixty-four percent is in a situation of severe humanitarian need.