Rev. Basilious Nasser Killed in Syria: The Backstory

I don’t know if you saw the latest news from Syria – that a Greek Orthodox priest has been killed. The Syrian government says that he was murdered by armed terrorist groups.  The New York Times says that the opposition blames the government for the murder. 
 
If caused by the Syrian opposition, the killing would rightly frighten the Orthodox community, which has a long history in Syria.  If perpetrated by the government, then the Orthodox community might question whether it will be protected as the country spirals into violence.
 
That’s why I called a friend, who is in touch with people on the ground in Syria.  I wanted to know what they know.  And this is what I learned.  The priest, Rev. Basilious Nasser, was known to them “as a true Christian.”  A man who took care of people who suffered, and who had risked his life in the last year to help individuals who were attacked and injured.  He was known to people in the Red Cross for working to save lives.  According to Hassan Hachemi, a leader in the Syrian National Council, this priest was a “treasure” and someone who the opposition looked up to – because of his commitment to the poor and to the safety of all.
 
This is the back story that I heard today.  The one that is not in the press in Syria.  It's a story that needs to be known so that further division, fear and hate is not fueled. 
 
– Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO