Catholic World News

Pope renews support for Syrian Christians; rebels kidnaps Orthodox nuns

December 02, 2013

Pope Francis renewed his pledge of support to the Christians of Syria, as he met on November 30 with a group of Melkite Catholic pilgrims from that country.

Acknowledging the “great tribulation” suffered by the Christians of Syria, the Pope offered his prayers that God would “comfort them in their anguish and keep them from desperation.” The Pope repeated his insistence: “We cannot resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians.” Noting that the day was the feast of St. Andrew, he invoked the intercession of that apostle and martyr to strengthen the Christians of Syria.

The Pope concluded by invoking St. Andrew, whose feast day is celebrated today, and who is greatly venerated by the Eastern Churches; through his intercession he asked the Lord for “peace in the world and mercy for our souls”.

Another dramatic story of Christian suffering in Syria came on December 2, when the AsiaNews service reported that Islamic rebels had stormed an Orthodox convent in Maaloula, a town north of Damascus, and kidnapped 12 women religious. The whereabouts of the detainees is not known.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 03, 2013 12:58 AM ET USA

    The Middle East without Christians seems almost a fait accompli. Islamic extremists rampage and engage in what amounts to ethnic cleansing and little is said. The US and Saudi Arabia, et al, have provided arms and training to these groups and little is said. Christians are asked to stay all around the area, they are forced from their homes and they are killed and little is said. It seems like there should be a Christian army, but that wouldn't be PC though little else seems to work.