Frédéric Pons is a great reporter, specializing in the Middle East. From his reports on the spot, he brings us the testimonies of those who suffer the genocide of the Christians of the East on a daily basis.
Dn the world, 270 Christians are killed every day. Over 100 per year. 000 million Christians do not live their faith freely. The Yazidis suffered 200 mass killings. Here are the figures of the persecution. Reading the Martyrdom of Eastern Christians offers us an immersion in these years of terror. Between incomprehension, horror, strength and faith, the stories overwhelm us over the pages.
Sister Marguerite Slim, director of the Saint Louis d'Alep hospital said:
“Violence, barbarism, massacre, torture, beheadings, heinous crimes, rapes, executions, thefts, kidnappings, kidnappings… men, women, children, of all religions are affected in their dignity, deprived of what is necessary to survive, stolen from the future and reduced to a life of refugees or displaced persons. ”
In Iraq and Syria, the horror is not just a question of numbers. The horror is excruciatingly concrete.
Cristina runs away. In the crowded bus that takes her to exile, her mother Ayda is breastfeeding her. The jihadists enter the bus, loot the few riches hastily taken away. But one of them sees a particular richness. He sees Cristina. He snatches it from his mother and offers it to a 60-year-old man in the street. Cristina, this will be her “spoils of war.”
Elsewhere, a child cries. He is 3 years old. "that's enough ! that's enough !". He witnesses the assassination of his father. But these cries will not be enough. He will be killed too.
Razzan also flees with her family. At the first roadblock, the jihadists steal money and jewelry. At the second roadblock, there is nothing more to loot.
“In rage, a barbarian throws the baby against a wall. 'I thought I would die with Razzan,' her mother said, reliving the moment, still in shock. The little one survived. By what miracle? Tied like a mummy in his cradle, Razzan has been motionless, in a state of catalepsy for over a year. ”
Father Jacques lives in Qaryatayn. One evening, masked men enter his monastery. They throw Father Jacques and Boutros Hanna in the trunk of their car. He will stay there for 4 days. He will know the violence of captivity, the privations, the threats, the flogging, the simulated slaughter. 84 days later, he will be released. His faith is unshakeable:
“Today, I continue to feel for my captors the same feeling I had for them when I was their prisoner: compassion. This feeling comes from my contemplation of the gaze that God has on them, despite their violence, as He has on all men: a gaze of pure mercy, without the slightest desire for vengeance. ”
Women are also recurrent prey.
“Other testimonies are more precise. They talk about bearded winners who come to help themselves and choose the most beautiful, the youngest, sometimes little girls. When the women soiled by several militiamen return to the cellar, they reappear devastated, silent, prostrate: 'We had to encourage them not to let themselves die, to live again, to raise their heads, to think of their loved ones. But even that was too painful. ' “
Sahar of Mosul calls out:
"All was haram [forbidden]: drinking, smoking, going out alone, eating nuts, hazelnuts, painting your nails, playing with a kite. But for them it was Hallal [allowed] to cut throats. ”
The international community seems more concerned about the archaeological losses.
In the Middle East, Christians have a choice: leave, convert, or die.
Georges Sabé chose to stay:
“We have chosen to stay with the suffering Syrian people, to serve them, to witness to them the love of God, to be witnesses of the light in a time of darkness, a witness of peace in a time of incredible violence. ”
On a wall in old Homs, a tag shows the commitment of these Christians:
“We will rebuild this country with our joy.”
Those who remain can count on the support of NGOs, especially French ones. But they have to learn to live most of the time without water, without electricity, with the constant fear of never seeing a friend or a brother return.
Others have chosen to leave. But to leave is to leave the land of your ancestors, its history, its roots, its home, its memories. They are now displaced, refugees, asylum seekers.
Whether they leave or stay, they are all disappointed. Disappointed to have been betrayed by neighbors, Muslim friends with whom they once lived in peace. Neighbors who have indicated their homes to the jihadists. Neighbors who stole their property, destroyed their photos, trampled their memories.
“When the war ends, this widening interfaith divide may be the only victory for the Islamists and the countries that support them.”
To a student who asked him if they were living in the end times, Georges Sabé replied:
“I hope we are living through the end of the times of hate.”
Info Chrétienne being an online press service recognized by the Ministry of Culture, your donation is tax deductible up to 66%.