On the way to Deir ez-Zor (Syria), terrorists kill Armenian Catholic priest and his father

Aid to the Church in Need received a dramatic news that Father Hovsep Apraham Bidoyan of the Armenian Catholic Church in Qamishli has been killed today in the morning.

The unrest at the North of Syria continues. Already hundreds of Christians left the cities of Ras al-Ain, Derbasiyah, Tall Tamr and a part of al-Malikiyah in Hassaké (Northeastern Governorate of Syria, at the border with Turkey and Iraq). The others fear the escalation of the conflict provoking even greater exodus potentially affecting also Qamishli, where 2,300 Christian families currently live.

 

Assisted by his father, Fr. Bidoyan ventured to go by car to the Armenian Catholic Church in Deir ez-Zor, which is a place of the painful memory of Armenian Genocide, where 150,000 Armenian martyrs were frogmarched to die in the Syrian desert concentration camps. Kantsasar, Armenian newspaper in Syria reported that when both Christians were on their way to Deir ez-Zor, the terrorists opened fire on the car (in the area of Al-Shaheel). In consequence the father of the priest died immediately and short time later, deadly wounded Fr. Bidoyan expired. It is not clear at the moment who is the author of the killings, but Al Raqqa Governorate, where is located Dei ez-Zor, was a stronghold of ISIS. Currently there are virtually no Christians in this region, as they are sceptical about the security.

 

Armenian Catholic community of Qamishli plunged in mourning and grieve. Our condolences and sympathy go to them. We remain united in prayer.