Mideast Christian Leaders Condemn Deadly Islamic State Attack in Syria

January 5, 2016

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Middle East Christian leaders condemned the recent attack by the Islamic State terror group that targeted Christian-owned restaurants in the Syrian city of Al-Qamishli.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for three bombings that hit restaurants in the Syrian city of Al-Qamishli, which is home to a significant population of Syrian Christians, killing 20 people (13 of them Christians) and injuring more than 40.

“Most victims were young people willing to welcome the New Year with hope and joy,” Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan told the Catholic News Service. Instead, he said, “In tears and gloomy hope, Christians of Qamishli welcomed 2016.”

“It was a sinister message the terrorists wanted to send to the Christians of this city, sowing death and tears,” the patriarch said, describing what he called an “unprecedented terrorist massacre…a message of horror so far to the entire Christian community in this war-torn country for the past five years.”

“We dedicate this evening to prayers for the victims of those attacks. We pray for our region and country amid the bloody war that claims lives of civilians every day,” said a joint statement by the Assyrian-Syriac Churches of Hasakah province.

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