Coming: An End to Cruelty!

Disturbing reports of torture centers in Syria add to man’s overwhelming history of inhumanity to other men, women and children. When and how will the cruelty end?

Warning: This blog post contains graphic descriptions of alleged torture in various countries around the world.

What started as a popular uprising now brings grisly descriptions of torture and abuse.

Torture in Syria

Syria is in the midst of a bloody civil war, and the news isn’t good. Recent media reports reveal that the regime uses a chain of torture centers across the country to inflict punishment and pain on its opponents and to intimidate them.

According to, Human Rights Watch has documented the existence of 27 detention centers across Syria, where opponents of the regime are systematically tortured. Methods of torture allegedly include the use of basat al reeh, in which individuals are immobilized by strapping both hands and feet to wooden boards and then beaten on the soles of their feet; and dulab, which involves forcing the head and legs through the hollow of a car tire and then beating the prisoner (“Report Describes Brutal Torture in Syria,” July 3, 2012).

The organization identified 27 torture centers, and it documented its gruesome findings with reports of victims as well as defectors who had worked in the centers.

“Nobody knows how many people are being detained, how many are being tortured. … But one local activist group has collected names of 25,000 people in detention. The numbers are absolutely staggering,” according to Ole Solvang, a spokesman for Human Rights Watch.

Torturing children

Worse still, it is reported that the torture and abuse extends even to children. “‘They electrocuted me on my stomach, with a prod. I fell unconscious,’ said Hossam, a 13-year-old boy who told Human Rights Watch he was detained in the town of Tal Kalakh in May 2011.

“‘When they interrogated me the second time, they beat me and electrocuted me again. … The third time, they had some pliers and they pulled out my toenail. They said, “Remember this saying, always keep it in mind: We take both kids and adults, and we killed them both.” I started to cry, and they returned me to the cell’” (ibid.).

Arab Spring dreams have soured

The early hopes of the Arab Spring have given way to many such reports, from the images of a young woman being beaten and kicked by Egyptian security forces in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, to reports of torture and abuse on both sides of the conflict in Libya.

For many in the Arab world, the dream has soured.

Continuing cruelty

Yet this kind of cruelty in warfare, whether civil war or between nations, is not new. The 20th century was the bloodiest in history, with estimates of the number of dead in war and genocide ranging up to 160 million. Many of these suffering human beings died in cruel and inhumane circumstances, whether in the gulags of Russia, the killing fields of Cambodia or the Holocaust in Europe.

Sadly, the cruelty and the torture live on in this 21st century in places such as North Korea’s evil internment camps, as well as Syria’s wretched detention centers.

Yet the cruelty isn’t limited to these examples. There are many places around the world today where various political and religious forces impose abuse and pain on their opponents. The misery continues.

The coming end to cruelty!

But there is good news! A time is very shortly coming now when such cruelty will be brought to an end. The Word of God tells us so.

Speaking of that much better time, God’s prophet Micah tells us, “He [Jesus Christ the Messiah] shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks” (Micah 4:3).

Just imagine the dramatic shift in human history when the resources wasted on armaments are used for food production!

Continuing, “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken” (verses 3 and 4, emphasis added).

“None shall make them afraid!” No more intimidation! No more cruelty! No more torture! No more concentration camps! No more warfare!

What a wonderful time that will be!

We, the publishers of, look forward to that time. We invite you to continue reading the material published on this site, as we lay out God’s plan for peace and for an end to human cruelty!

About the Author

Ralph Levy

Ralph Levy

Ralph Levy is a native of London, England, and now a naturalized citizen of the United States. He works primarily as a professor of theology at Foundation Institute, Center for Biblical Education, in Texas. Foundation Institute is the educational institution of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

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