The Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama says 45 people were killed and 1,500 families held hostage in the 'most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria,' reports The Tablet.
It happened during the week following October 21 in the ancient Christian town of Sadad, which lies about 100 miles north-east of Damascus, after it was invaded by anti-Assad Islamist militias and before the Syrian army retook the town.
Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh said: 'Forty-five innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, and many were thrown into mass graves.'
Thirty more civilians were wounded and 10 are still missing. Around 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields against the incoming government forces, and 2,500 others fled the town at gunpoint with only the clothes they were wearing.
The archbishop, who conducted the funeral services last week amid grief and outrage, lamented that the outside world has done little to help suffering Syrians. 'We have shouted "help us" to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?'
Church sources told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that civilians unable to escape - including the elderly, disabled, women and children - were subjected to torture such as strangulation.
45 Syrian Christians massacred in town of Sadad (The Tablet)