Despite Ceasefire, Syrian Violence Rages On
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 May 18
Despite a UN-brokered ceasefire, violence continues to rock Syria, with deadly bombings reaching Damascus, the capital, and other cities, WORLD News Service reports. Two suicide bombs on April 30 in Idlib targeted security personnel and killed at least eight -- with some estimates that explosions killed more than 20. By May 1, the head of the UN observer mission, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, arrived in Syria along with about 15 observers. Under the peace plan brokered by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, 300 observers are approved and 30 scheduled to arrive this month. But activists report as many as 500 killed since the ceasefire was agreed to April 12. The Christian community is suffering "enormous distress" as the conflict rages on between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad, church leaders told the Barnabas Fund. According to a church leader, churches throughout the country remain open, except for the Homs area, where the focus of the fight has left many places of worship destroyed or unable to operate. Elsewhere, according to the leader, churches are "more packed with worshipers and getting closer to [the] church and Bible, which is a good sign."