Rebel forces in Syria have carried out the “most serious and biggest massacre of Christians” since the conflict began, Syrian priests told Fides.

In the Christian town of Sadad, near Homs, 1,500 families were held hostage in the last week of October and 45 killed and thrown into mass graves, Fides reports.

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III told ACN the attacks were “bestial”, as some families were thrown into wells.

“How can somebody do such inhumane and bestial things to an elderly couple and their family? I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality,” he said.