Mass graves uncovered in Syria

Two mass graves containing murdered Christians have been unearthed in a village in Syria.

The grim discoveries were made in Sadad, a village some 160kms north of the capital Damascus after soldiers of the Syrian army recaptured it at the end of October from Islamist fighters who had occupied the village since October 21.

According to the Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, at least 30 Christians were found buried together when relatives of the dead gained access to Sadad as the rebels, identified as members of Jabhat al Nusra, an al Qaeda afilliate group, were driven back by the Syrian army. The Patriarchate further stated that 45 Christians are known to have been killed during the time of occupation, with 10 more so far unaccounted for.

Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, who officiated at the funerals in Sadad, spoke to the Fides agency, describing the terror inflcietd on the people of Sadad.

“For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields,” he said. "What happened in Sadad is the largest massacre of Christians in Syria and the second in the Middle East, after the one in the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Iraq, in 2010.”

During their time in Sadad, fighters allegedly made the Syriac Orthodox Church of St Theodore their base from where they worked to loot and destroy Christian homes and target the Christian population.

"We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us,” Archbishop Alnemeh said. “Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us.”