Damascus - For Syrian Christians, Maalula, the Christian village in the north of Damascus, attacked in recent days by armed Islamist groups, is already a "land of martyrs".
Thanks to an eyewitness, a
Christian woman named A. , currently in a hospital in Damascus, Fides New Agency has
reconstructed in detail the fate of three Christians killed in Maalula.
Their funerals were celebrated on September 10 in Damascus, in the
Greek-Catholic cathedral, in a celebration presided over by Melkite
Patriarch Gregory III Laham.
According to what the woman told Fides, the armed groups
entered many homes of civilians on September 7, destroying items, terrorizing people, and damaging all the sacred images. In one house there
were three Greek Catholic men Mikhael, Taalab, his cousin Antoun Taalab,
Sarkis el Zakhm, Mikhael’s grandson, and the woman A. , their relative,
who says what happened.
The Islamists warned everyone present to convert
to Islam. Sarkis answered clearly: "I am a Christian and if you want to
kill me because I am a Christian, do it". The young man together with
the other two were killed in cold blood.
The woman was injured and was
saved and later taken to a hospital in Damascus. "What Sarkis
did is true martyrdom, a death in odium fidei", said Sister Carmel to
Fides, who was among the Christians of Damascus who assist the displaced in
Maalula. Those present at the funeral were very moved. Today 's
displaced in Maalula, are mostly in Damascus, emphasizes the nun, " They ask to
be able to return to their homes, in peace and security."