Frontpagemag.com reports that no less than twenty churches have been destroyed, abandoned, or damaged, and one hundred Christians have been murdered, in Syria. Today, I managed to haul myself away from my computer in the spirit of Lent and went and got my haircut in the spiritual desert of Brighton that is London Road.
The owner of a small and humble barbers is from Syria and manages to scrape by a living with his hairdressing business. I saw that he had a rather beautiful icon of Our Lord in his shop and asked where he was from. Turns out he is from Syria. I asked if he has family over there and, of course, he does. Stupid question really. I asked if they are okay and he said, 'At the moment, yes, thank God.' I asked his opinion of what is going on in the middle East for Christians and in general.
He replied that, for the moment, in Syria, Assad is holding out against the terrorists. It is worthy of note that in this country, the fighters are portrayed as freedom fighters trying to usher in a new age of democracy. The hairdresser said, "Perhaps you can explain to me how it is that we are fighting 'Al Qaeda' in Mali and arming 'Al Qaeda' in Syria and Egypt?" He feels that the West is trying deliberately to destablise the region for its own purposes and doesn't have much thought for the carnage that takes place in its wake, but that wherever these uprisings take place, Christians are fleeing soon after and under attack from Muslim extremists. He hopes that the Government holds firm and that it is not toppled. He fears greatly for family still living in Syria.
Say a prayer for them, for the Christians of the middle East and especially in Syria.
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