As many Pagans, I was brought to tears this morning by Cara Schultz’s post about a Pagan woman in Syria with whom she had been corresponding:
I’m at a loss for how to write this obituary, this tribute to a life lost so horribly. The usual forms a reporter uses won’t work in this situation. I don’t know her birth date or the exact day she died, and because I don’t want to put others in harm’s way in Syria, I can’t even use her real name.
Cara had expressed concern about Yana’s safety (and the safety of other Pagans in the region) earlier this year: I keep hoping I will hear something, but it’s been several months and still no word.
And now comes the worst kind of word: that Yana had been denounced as a whore and a witch (by her own brother), had been taken by authorities and tortured, had been dragged into the streets, raped, and murdered.
Goddess grant her peace.
As the news spread, other bloggers stepped up to speak of the global nature of Paganism (and our responsibility to it) and the importance of interfaith work in addressing intolerance. Cara has set up a donation page on Doctors Without Borders in Yana’s name and donors have already raised over $1,000 to help those most affected by the conflict in Syria.
Tonight I light a candle and mourn. Tomorrow, I work for change, because Yana is only one of many women trying to survive in Syria.