BOUCHRIA DAM, Lebanon — During the anniversary of the 1,320 Syriac martyrs who gave their lives in the Lebanese Civil War, the Universal Syriac Union Party (USUP) held a commemoration ceremony in Syriac Martyrs’ Square in Bouchria Dam, Beirut. The memorial service was attended by Syriacs from all over Lebanon, Syriac Orthodox priests, and USUP members.
During the ceremony, USUP President Ibrahim Mrad delivered a speech highlighting the sacrifices of the 1,320 martyrs and drawing parallels between Lebanon’s current crisis and that of the 1970s:
“Our Syriac martyrs have kept the Cross raised in our land to this day, so as Christians it is our duty and right to remember the sacrifices of the martyrs in the 1970s war. The cause of the 70s war was the same cause of the widespread corruption in the country today.
There is betrayal from within the Lebanese and the dependence of some [in office] on foreign powers and their corruption. This is the reason for the division in the country and this has negatively affected us as Christians.
Unfortunately, today, the entire Lebanese state has become a subject of Iran and its militias — like Hezbollah — who are the root cause of the economic collapse, electric power and water shortages, poverty and hunger.”
We have sacrificed and we will continue to sacrifice and endure to remain in our homeland and preserve our Christian Syriac existence. Lebanon without a free Christian presence is not Lebanon and we do not want it. We do not want to live together without freedom. We will remain free Christians witnessing our history and paying tribute to the memory of our martyrs every year and adorning their graves with roses.”
The Universal Syriac Union Party is an affiliate of the Bethnahrin National Council.