In the Syrian town where the inhabitants still speak the language of Christ, both Aramaic and martyrdom for Jesus still remain unchanged for the past 2,000 years as evidenced by a the execution of a Christian soldier in the embattled town of Ma’loula, as reported by The Christian Post on Sept. 13, 2013.
Renowned as the oldest continually Christian community in the world, the Syrian village of Ma’loula traces its Christian roots back to the first century. The town is populated by Melkite-Rite Catholics (one of the many Eastern Rite Churches in communion with Rome) and Antiochian/Greek Orthodox Christians.
The isolated town is also in a bloody see-saw battle between troops loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad and those of the so-called “rebels” whose ranks are heavy with jihadists loyal to al-Qaeda.
Even Until Death…
The Christian Post cites a Ma’loula resident, identified only as Rasha, who stated the jihadists brutally murdered her fiancé Atef, who was a member of the town’s Christian militia.
“I rang his mobile phone and one of them answered,” she told reporters.
“Good morning, Rashrush,” a voice answered, calling her by her nickname. “We are from the Free Syrian Army. Do you know your fiancé was a member of the shabiha (pro-regime militia) who was carrying weapons, and we have slit his throat?”
Rasha said the man told her Atef was asked to renounce his Christianity and convert to Islam.
“Jesus didn’t come to save him,” the caller laughing sneered to the stunned woman.
With Moderates like This, Who Needs Terrorists…
As previously covered by Examiner.com, The Free Syrian Army, the umbrella group for the vast majority of the various anti-Assad factions, is now dominated by Islamist brigades like the Muslim Brotherhood’s Tawheed Brigade and the “moderately” Islamist Farouk Brigades, one of whose commanders was recorded on video eating a Syrian soldier’s internal organs.
The Free Syrian Army has been cited by the Obama Administration as well as pro-war Republicans such as Sen. John McCain as “moderates” in the war against Assad.
Same As It Ever Was…
Ma’loula is home to one of the oldest monasteries in all Christendom, the Mar Sarkis (Saint Sergius) Monastary, dedicated to God the patronage of the Roman Army officer who refused to renounce Christ and was subsequently tortured and executed for his Christian Faith.
Also in the historic village is the ancient Greek Orthodox Monastery of Mar Taqla (St. Thecla), dedicated to God under the patronage to the daughter of the Syrian provincial Roman governor. On her father’s orders, St. Thecla was hunted down by Imperial troops for the crime of being Christian.
Saints Sergius and Thecla are recognized in both Roman and Orthodox Canon of Saints.