desecrated an ancient Christian cemetery, graves destroyed

source: It is “difficult” to determine the “matrix” of the attack, but it is a sign of “intolerance” and it is important to capture those responsible. The cemetery was attacked on the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul; they are Assyrian tombs over a thousand years old. Bones of the deceased and sacred objects thrown outside, pain and discouragement in the local community.

Istanbul () – Istanbul () – Assyrian tombs over a thousand years old destroyed and desecrated, bones of the dead and other sacred objects thrown outside. The new and worrying episode of intolerance against a Christian place in Turkey occurred on June 29, the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, but the news only emerged in recent days. The Christians made the bitter discovery when visiting the cemetery located in the Yemişli neighborhood of the Midyat district, in the southeastern province of Mardin, which has already been the scene of episodes of intolerance in the recent past.

An institutional source from Turkey contacted by , said on condition of anonymity, that “it is difficult” to attribute a clear “matrix” to events of this type, which nevertheless constitute “serious signs of intolerance”. “Now -she continues- it is important that the police open an investigation and capture those responsible, so that we can understand things more precisely”. And it is equally important, she concluded, “to emphasize the news, to prevent events of this type from falling into oblivion or remaining in nothing.”

Eyewitnesses say that the cemetery chapel, dedicated to the two apostles that the Church celebrates on June 29, the day of the attack, was built in 1967 within a funerary enclosure that houses tombs dating from the first millennium. Every year the local community – made up of Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Christians – visits the graves on the occasion of the festival to pray and perform votive rites in front of the saints and the graves of their ancestors.

The discovery of the desecrated graves caused pain and discouragement in the Christian community, which received the support and solidarity of the Yazidis living in the area, where the headquarters of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch was once located, which was later transferred to Syria. . In the past decade, during the first phase of the Syrian conflict, a steady stream of Christian refugees have arrived in the region, in some cases opposed by the Muslim majority.

Several episodes of violence and abuse against Christians have occurred in the past in Mardin province. The latest, in chronological order, was the attack by dozens of Muslims on an Assyrian family – which had just celebrated the reopening of a historic church after a century – following a land dispute. There is also the case of the Assyrian monk Sefer (Aho) Bileçen, sentenced in 2021 to more than two years in prison for having helped “a terrorist organization”. In reality, he had only given a piece of bread and water to some people who had knocked on the doors of his convent, who according to the Turkish authorities were PKK militiamen.

The sentence was issued in a climate of increasing violations and abuses, with the sale of a hundred-year-old Armenian church online, the barbecue in the historic Armenian church of Sourp Asdvadzadzi and the conversion into mosques of the former Christian basilicas of Hagia Sophia and Chora, transformed into museums after the founding of the Turkish Republic by Ataturk. Controversial decisions within the framework of the policy of nationalism and Islam adopted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to hide the economic crisis and the coronavirus emergency, and retain power.

Source link