In the Middle East, nothing brings people of different creeds together like the threat of ISIS. Now, as the militants bear down on the historically Christian town of Sadad, hundreds of Christians and Muslims are banding together to protect the town from the terrorists.
According to Christian Today, Mor Ignatius Aphrem Karim II, the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the posse of around 200 Christians joined by Muslims from the area, has been successful in beating back the ISIS threat so far.
“IS advanced toward Sadad but they were not able to enter,” Karim said. “The young people in Sadad, with the help of some armed groups, were able to fight back and push IS back to where they started. They are helped by some groups coming from different parts of Syria also.”
Karim said it is encouraging to see young Syriacs determined to defend their homeland, which is steeped in Christian history.
That Biblical history is fascinating. Scholars believe that Sadad is the town called Zedad in the Old Testament books of Numbers and Ezekiel, and the residents of the area surrounding the town speak Aramaic, the same language Jesus and other Jews of His day spoke in their daily life.
Sadad has fallen in and out of ISIS hands over the last couple of years, largely because of its strategic location between Homs and Damascus. The Syrian army wrestled the town from the grasp of ISIS, but not before the terrorists killed 50 Christians. In recent weeks, so many people have fled Sadad out of fear of ISIS that the population has dwindled from 15,000 to 2,000.
The Christian freedom fighters are determined not to let ISIS take Sadad again. One anonymous fighter told Newsweek, “It is a symbolic place for us and we will not allow it to fall again.”
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Wead