Monday, October 29. A car bomb exploded in Jaramana, a suburb of Damascus killing 11 people and injuring more than 60 people according to the state-run TV, and Syrian officials. The blast damaged apartment buildings and shops in this Christian and Druze neighborhood.
Over the weekend, His Beatitude Ignatius Zakka of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus confirmed that a car bomb attack severely damaged an Orthodox Church in the eastern town of Deir Ezzor in Syria, injuring people in a restaurant located in the front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This church had been previously vandalized and looted by armed rebels.
Agenzia Fides informed that the Council of Damascene Catholic Bishops expressed their condolences for the “brutal murder,” of Father Fady Haddad whose body was found on October 25. He was the parish priest of St. Elias Orthodox Church in Qatana, Damascus. Father Haddad was kidnapped with another intermediary and killed trying to negotiate a ransom for one of his parishioners who was being held by an armed group. His captors asked 50 million Syrian pounds (around US $ 710737.56).
Rebel groups kidnap Christians and ask exorbitant ransoms from their family members who are unable to comply with such demands. Agenzia Fides reported this October, the kidnapping and killing of two Christians in Damascus and in January the killing of Father Bassilios Nassar who was helping a wounded man.
Christian Aid Mission reported the killing of Pastor Sami, his wife and three children at the hands of Muslim militants on October 19. According to Christian Aid Mission the armed group “broke down the door and started to shoot all over the place.” They let the parishioners go, but retained Pastor Sami, his wife and children and killed them.
On April 19, Christian Aid Mission reported on the deliberate persecution of Christians by the “Arab Spring” militants. Refugees in Jordan are reporting on the growing, intentional persecution of Christians. A refugee said to Christian Aid: “Our dreams vanished when a group of terrorists threatened to kill my family, burn our house, and set fire to the store if I didn’t pay them $ 7,000. I paid the amount, hoping that they would leave us alone, but they did not. Instead, they kidnapped me for a whole week. They only let me go on one condition, that each month I would pay them the same amount!”
Vandalism, looting, and bomb attacks to Christian Churches by rebel groups are frequent. On October 21, a car bomb exploded for first time in the Old Christian area of Bab Touma, leading to 13 deaths and leaving dozens injured. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch urged “All citizens, humanitarian organizations and all people of good will to condemn kidnapping, murder, destruction, robbery, assault to the safety and welfare of citizens.” The Patriarchate added “We call all to dialogue, peace and harmony, to put an end to the innocent bloodshed that takes place every day.”