Syria: Catholics Caught in a Vise in Idlib

Source: FSSPX News

A Catholic priest remaining among his faithful gave a high profile testimony on the continuing ordeal Christians are still living through in the province of Idlib (Syria). If the caliphate of the Islamic State (IS) organization has officially fallen in Baghouz, the country has not yet finished with the armies of jihad.

“The situation is precarious because of the fighting between the regular army and the rebels (Islamists). Unfortunately, many people have had to leave their homes and come see us. They live under the trees. They have the earth as a mattress and the sky as a blanket.”

This is what Fr. Hanna Jallouf, Franciscan friar of the Custody of the Holy Land and parish priest of the Latin rite parish of Knaye, in the province of Idlib, says in an interview with TV2000 on May 13, 2019.

The courageous pastor of souls returns to the violence of recent weeks affecting north-west Syria: “The day before yesterday, the rebels bombed the Christian city of Al-Sekelbiya. They hit the catechism room, killing five children and their catechist. Yesterday, their funerals were celebrated. Many people are dying from this dirty war. We hope that this massacre will end soon,” said the priest, a direct witness of the tragedy of which Christians in the East are the first victims.

Indeed, since April 30, 2019, Russian and Syrian forces have been conducting intense bombing attacks on southern Idlib and the northern neighboring region of Hama.

The targeted territories are controlled by “rebels,” a watered-down term behind which, in reality, hide the organization Hayat Tahrir Al-Cham, an emanation of Al-Qaida, and other Jihadist groups which do not compare unfavorably to the Islamic State. The list of anti-Christian atrocities committed by this group is already long.

Its leader, Abu Mohammad Al-Jolania, has also launched, in a video, broadcast Sunday, May 12, a general call to jihad to “whomever is able to take up arms” to defend Idlib. Islam has not finished shedding the blood of Christians.