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Syrian rebels seize historic Christian village; Russia calls for protection of Christians

Catholic World News - September 09, 2013

The Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist Syrian rebel group designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, the United States, and other nations, has seized the historic Christian village of Ma’loula, according to news agencies.

Ma’loula, a village of 3,000 that is the site of Catholic and Orthodox monasteries, is one of three villages in which Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken.

The Associated Press reported:

One resident said the rebels--many of them wearing beards and shouting, “God is great!” [Allahu Akbar]--attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after seizing the village.

“They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,” the resident said by telephone. “So many people fled the village for safety” …

“Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?” asked the man, who fled the village on Sunday.

“I saw the militants grabbing five villagers Wednesday and threatening them: ‘Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded,’” another villager told the Associated Press.

The Russian foreign ministry issued a statement expressing concern about the village’s Christians and holy sites.

“Moscow is deeply concerned over the fact that terrorist attacks in Syria have affected Ma’loula, a symbol of the Christian presence in this country,” according to the statement.

Calling upon “everyone who cares about the fate of the people of Ma’loula to do everything possible to prevent their killing and the destruction of Christian holy places,” the foreign ministry said that “terrorist attacks need to be stopped immediately. Special responsibility for them rests with those forces in the region and outside of it that encourage terrorists, intentionally or not.”

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  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Sep. 09, 2013 6:08 PM ET USA

    "Either you convert to Islam or you will be beheaded". Where is Senator McCain in all of this nonsense. Obviously, he is playing "video poker" while Obama is allowing the conflagration of Christians for his master plan of a Middle Eastern caliphate which will become democratic. The Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. is also being fooled. The European and Middle Eastern bishops are not to be considered dummies with the American bishops "in Obama's hip pocket" with various types of grants as bribes

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