Sunday, November 08, 2015

Report: ISIS advances on Syriac Christianity

MODERN ARAMAIC WATCH: Thousands of Syrian Christians Are Fleeing ISIS Assault (Oliver Maksan, Aid to the Church in Need via AINA).
NEW YORK -- Thousands of Syrian Christians are fleeing after fierce attacks by ISIS on the town of Sadad and its surroundings, reported Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs. Sadad is some 35 miles south of Homs and 65 miles north east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. The region has been under attack by ISIS since late last month.

The prelate told international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that Maheen, a town just four miles from Sadad, has already fallen to the jihadists. He also said that the inhabitants of Sadad and Al-Hafar had fled out of fear that ISIS would advance even further and to escape the heavy fire.


The town of Sadad, Father Luka [Awad, assistant of the archbishop] explained, is an important Christian center. The priest continued: "The people there still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Moreover, we have important churches there. It is really a center of our Christian heritage. Its loss doesn't bear contemplating. We truly are fearing for our cultural heritage. We beg the international community to put an end to this war. My people already experienced a genocide one hundred years ago, in 1915. Now, in the 21st century, we don't need another."

Background on the assault of ISIS on the past and its caretakers is here and here and links, and, with special reference to Aramaic-speaking Christians, here and links.