Following reports of the killing of 88 people including women and children, in Houla, in Homs province, the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, Mgr Mario Zenari issued a new appeal, calling for an end to the violence.
The 'Syrian National Council', which leads the opposition in the region, say the people were killed in a bombing raid by the regular army. Fides sources report a different version: the regular army hit Houla, where many Salafist militants and terrorists have found refuge, using civilians as human shields.
Mgr Mario Zenari said: "This massacre is not the only one, let's hope it is the last. We demand an end to such atrocities. All believers, Christians and Muslims today are called to discover the weapons of prayer and fasting, to rekindle the hope of a peaceful future in Syria."
According to Fides sources in the Christian community, armed gangs that are out of control continue to rage and hit innocent civilians. Terrorists have blown up an Alawite's house in the district of southern Rableh near Qusayr, always in the area of Homs. The explosion caused the death of Youssef Airouti, injuring his wife and his son, but also Hallaq Shibli and his wife Niamat Saadiyet, a Christian couple from Qusayr, who found refuge in Rableh. Meanwhile in Homs the Armenian Apostolic Church and adjoining school in the district of Hamidia were seized and occupied by the Syrian military's Liberation Army, who use the buildings as housing and hospitals.
Fr Romualdo Fernandez, a Franciscan friar of the Shrine of Tabbaleh, dedicated to St Paul in Damascus, told Fides: "People are confused and disoriented. Reports of massacres follow but the responsible are not certain. There is pessimism because no one knows what the future holds. There are criticisms to the regime, but also to the rebels of the opposition. As Christians we share the sufferings of the people, tried by the conflict. We work for peace and justice, without adhering to any political faction."
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