A mass was organized on 8 January in the church of the Holy Cross "for the repose of the soul" of the small Sari Saud, and of the 26 victims of the suicide bombing that rocked the working-class neighborhood of Midane in Damascus.

Sari Saud was a 9 year old boy living in Homs, portrayed by Al-Jazeera as a victim of government forces, even though his own mother and Sari’s other relatives had appeared on Syrian television to give an account of the actual circumstances surrounding his death and the identity of those responsible.

During the ceremony, the first Christian Archbishop Luka Al-Khouri took the floor. He recalled that Syria was "the land of civilizations and prophets" and said that the attacks were attributable to Western leaders and to those who claim to serve the Arab cause while actually promoting other interests.

The archbishop also criticized television channels Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, accusing them of "submerging the Arab people in lies and misinformation."

The highest Islamist authority in Syria, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddine Hassoun, spoke next to the cheers of the faithful gathered in the church.

Sheikh Hassoun said that "man is more sacred than any mosque or temple, and he who kills a human being is damned because he destroys a structure created ​​by God."

"To those who want to transform Syria into their own arena to pursue schemes against the will of the people, I say to the Arab League and the United Nations that Syria has angels [to protect her] that will hover round until the day of resurrection," he continued.

With regard to the acts that bring bloodshed to the country, he appealed: "If you are interested in power, show us your programs without pulling out your weapons and if they convince us, we will adopt them."

He urged anyone who has lost a loved one to "turn this loss not into hatred but into love."

This last statement takes on special significance when considering that the mufti’s son, Sariah Hassoun, aged 22, was murdered by an armed group last October after his father turned down the $ 10 million offered by Qatar to get him to rally the anti-government forces.

At the end of Mass, the religious officials and the public sang "Homat el Diyar", the Syrian national anthem.