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Melkite priest rips Western media, says Syrian rebels have destroyed churches

Catholic World News - June 05, 2012

A Melkite Greek Catholic archimandrite has denounced Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict.

“The reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation in Western media,” said Msgr. Philippe Tournyol Clos. “Opposition forces have occupied two areas, Diwan Al Bustan and Hamidieh, where there are all the churches and bishoprics.

“The picture for us is utter desolation: the church of Mar Elian is half destroyed and that of Our Lady of Peace is still occupied by the rebels,” he continued. “Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants, who fled without taking anything. The area of Hamidieh is still shelter to armed groups independent of each other, heavily armed and bankrolled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. All Christians (138,000) have fled to Damascus and Lebanon, while others took refuge in the surrounding countryside. A priest was killed and another was wounded by three bullets. Still a couple live there, but the five bishops have had to take refuge in Damascus and Lebanon.”

The rebels, he added, are particularly cruel to the Alawites, a Muslim sect whose members include the Assad family.

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