No church bells pealed today in this mountain village where Christians and Moslem Druze have lived together in peace for more than 400 years.
In a rampage Wednesday night, Druze followers of assassinated Moslem leftist leader Kamal Jumblatt desecrated the tiny stone church and killed at least 20 of the Maronite Christians who live here.
All the other Christians - except a 75-year-old man - fled Barouk under the protection of Syrian peace-keepers Thursday to move in with relatives and friends in Christian sections of Beirut.
"Everyone else was frightened, including my wife and my daughter. But I am here in my home and I am staying" said Tanyos Faris Nakhle, a farmer with the weathered face of man who has spent his life in the fields.
Barouk is a picture-book village of 7,000 people, high in the mountains about 25 miles southeast of Beirut. There is still snow on the craggy peaks, and crystal streams run through the town. Druze men in their traditional baggy black pants and red pill-box hats with a broad white band stand before their homes, which are clustered together. About two-thirds of the residents are Druze, an offshoot Moslem sect. The rest are Christian.
There was an air of sadness and shame in the village today. While the men began by talking openly to visitors about Wednesday night, they soon turned defensive. They seemed to feel that the good name of Barouk had been blackened for reasons they did not understand.
"The boys from our town are clean. Outsiders must have done it," said Nakhle as he sipped herb tea with a group of Druze neighbors.
"We all condemn this act. It was horrible," said Ali Melawai, a Druze. "It was the party people who did it. The Socialists think of only one thing, and that is Kamal Jumblatt."
Jumblatt was both hereditary head of the Druze sect and leader of the Progressive Socialist Party. During the 19-month Lebanese civil war he also headed the leftist Moslem coalition that allied itself with the Palestinians against the largely Christian rightists and later the Syrians.
Jumblatt's followers went on a rampage after his assassination, killing at least 200 people in villages like this throughout the Chouf mountains near his ancestral home in Moukhtara.
This is an area where Christians and Druze have lived together for centuries - sometimes in peace but often in bitter wars. In 1860, for example, a bloody war between the Druze and Maronites - an offshoot branch of The Roman Catholic Church - brought an end to Turkish Ottoman rule over Lebanon and made the country a French protectorate.
As in most cases where people are ashamed of what has happened, it is hard to piece together exactly what occurred here Wednesday night.
One thing is clear: At least 20 Christians were dragged from their homes around tiny St. George's church and murdered. They were not, as earlier reports reaching Beirut said, killed when the church was dynamited on top of them. Nor, according to villagers, were they hacked to death with axes, as had also been reported in Beirut.
"They were all shot. I saw the bodies with my own eyes," said one young villagers.
Nakhle, whose house is at the other end of town from the church, said he knows nothing of what happened Wednesday night. He got home after dark from tending his fields, and said that when he heard shooting he shuttered his windows, locked the doors and stayed inside.
The church was torn apart that night. The priest's missal was burned on the altar and his vestments were dragged through the church. At least four separate fires were set in the church and the chandeliers torn down. The confessional was over-turned, wooden pews strewn about and the wooden poorbox, still containing money, was thrown on the stone floor.
There was a trail of alter linens in the mud outside the church. Nakhle had not gone down to see the church, and could not quite believe what had happened to it. As an example of how close Christians and Druze have been here, he said, a few weeks ago a Druze woman gave his wife five Lebanese pounds, about $1.50, to put in the poorbox.
"You see this thumbnail and the flesh attached to it?" he said, holding up his hands."We and the Druze are that close."
"The boys in our town are clean," he continued. "It must have been outsiders who did it. We have lived here together with the Druze for 400 years. We don't know who did it. They are unknown persons."
Syrian troops and Lebanese security forces are searching for the people who ravaged Barouck and the other vilages near here. If they are not found and punished, Christian leaders have threatened to send their forces out to get revenge themselves.
The Syrians, fearful of this, worked quickly to make sure that Barouk does not become a symbol. Before Christian leaders could get here, they gathered up all the bodies and buried them without any ceremony. Then they escorted the rest of the Christians out of town.
(Unidentified gunmen shot and wounded three persons Sunday in the Chouf mountains south of Beirut, the latest incident in continuing violence since the assassination of Kamal Jumblatt, United Press International reported.
(The three were members of a delegation returning from the Jumblatt ancestral village of Moukhtara where they went to offer condolences to Walid Jumblatt on his father's death.)
New agencies also reported these Middle East developments:
The Palestinian leadership, meeting in Cairo, yesterday called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and laid down stringent conditions for Palestinian participation in Middle East peace efforts.
The Palestinian National Council, termed a parliament-in-exile, also reaffirmed the strategic aim of Dismantling Israel and ruled out participation in a reconvened Geneva peace conference under the present terms of reference.
Delegates said the program, a compromise between moderate and hardline positions, reflected a distinct hardening of the Palestinian stand on peace efforts.
The program said the Palestine Liberation Organization would negotiate on the basis of a United Nations General Assembly resolution taken in 1974.
That resolution reaffirmed the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and their right to return to the homes from which they were expelled in 1948.
Current U.S. efforts to have the 1973 Geneva peace conference reconvened are pinned on U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which defines the Palestinian issue as a refugee problem - a definition rejected even by Palestinian moderates.
The first point of the program adopted yesterday said the Palestinian problem was the core of the Arab-Israeli dispute and that "Security Council Resolution 242 ignores the palestine people . . . The Council therefore reaffirms its rejection of this resolution and refuses to deal on its basis at Arab and world levels."
King Juan Carlos of Spain and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat held talks in Cairo on the Middle East situation and on ways to improve friendly relations between their two countries.
King Carlos and Queen Sofia arrived yesterday for a five-day visit to Egypt.
Israeli security forces said they have detained a Turkish freighter, its captain and three crewmen on suspicion of having aided an attempted Arab attack on Tel Aviv last year.
The crew of the 250-ton Okenlar was seized when they attempted to land in Tel Aviv last Monday. Police said the ship matched the description of the freighter that offloaded a runabout containing arms and five Arab guerrillas near the Tel Aviv coast in September.
The ruler of oil-rich Kuwait returned home after two months of medical treatment in London and celebrated by releasing 115 prisoners, Kuwait radio reported. The broadcast said Emir Sabah Salim Sabah returned Friday, but it gave no details of his ailment or treatment.