Syria: The murder of a priest raises fears for Christians

November 21, 2019

Persecution of Christians in Syria: the murder of Fr. Hovsep Badoyan is unfortunately part of a larger pattern. President Trump recently pledged $50 million in emergency aid for Syrian Christians, and shortly after that, several world leaders met to begin working toward an international alliance of governments to support persecuted Christians, specifically in Syria. These are positive developments, but much more is needed. The situation in Syria is urgent. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, hopes that the international community will quickly begin to act in order to provide genuine, tangible help for the Christians of Syria and the entire Middle East.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in Syria, see here.

“The murder of a priest raises fears for Syria’s Christians,” by John Pontifex, Catholic Herald, November 20, 2019:

Violence this month in Syria has raised the spectre of renewed Islamist persecution against Christians, especially in the north-east of the country. Armenian Catholic Fr Hovsep Bedoyan and his father Abraham were shot dead in an ambush in the province of Deir Ezzor. A deacon, Fati Sano, was also injured.

The group were travelling to the province to view progress on the restoration of the local Armenian Catholic church.

Amid reports that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attacks, Armenian Catholic Archbishop Boutros Marayati of Aleppo told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need: “Fr Hovsep was dressed in his priestly attire … Consequently [he was] recognisable as a priest, in addition to the fact that his car was clearly marked, in large letters, with the words ‘Armenian Catholic Church’.”

The incident coincided with an explosion near the Chaldean Catholic church and a market in nearby Qamishli, Fr Bedoyan’s home city. Local clergy reported that seven people were killed and at least 70 others injured in an attack involving three bombs in two cars and on a motorbike.

Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the Latin Bishop of Aleppo, said in a report published by the Assyrian International News Agency: “The devices have exploded near the church and this, according to us, has a very precise meaning: they want to target Christians.”…