» 02/12/2013, 00.00
After Muslim rebels seize two priests in Aleppo, there are fears for their life
An Armenian Catholic priest, Fr Michael, and an Orthodox clergyman were abducted last Sunday in Aleppo's Christian neighbourhood. Sources speak to AsiaNews about barbarous murders carried out my Islamic extremists. A car bomb explodes at the Turkish-Syrian border crossing of Cilvegozu.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - A group
of rebels close to Muslim extremists on Sunday abducted an Armenian Catholic
priest, Fr Michael, as well as a yet unknown Orthodox clergyman. Both were working
in Aleppo. Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that the city's Christian community is very concerned
about the attack. "Extremist violence is getting worse day by day. Muslim militias
are killing anyone suspected of ties with the regime, including women and
children. People in the neighbourhoods are comparing these days to the Ottoman
conquest five centuries ago."
For several weeks,
residents had complained about the presence of al-Nusra
Front forces, Islamic extremists who want to turn Syria into an Islamic
state, feared even by the rebel Free Syrian Army.
On 6 February, Front
troops stormed the Christian neighbourhood of Jdeideh where extremists had already
destroyed the city's main Evangelical church in November.
Al-Nusra forces include
many foreigners, including Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines, as
evinced by a statement posted online by the leader of Abu Sayyaf, an extremist
Muslim group with ties to al-Qaeda operating in the Philippines. In it, Muslims
are urged to go to Syria and sacrifice their lives for Islam.
"These fighters live
for killing and violence. They act without pity and make distinctions among
people," sources said. "When they kill, they turn to God as if they were making
between the military and rebel groups continue across Syria with more than
60,000 people killed so far.
Yesterday, a car bomb
killed 13 people near the Turkish border, at a road block in Cilvegozu, a
border crossing some 100 kilometres northwest of Aleppo, the main route of
escape for Syrian refugees fleeing the war. It has been in rebel hands for
several months. (S.C.)
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As Aleppo comes under attack, with hundreds of dead and wounded, Caritas Syria aid crucial
At least 202 people have been killed over the past week in Syria’s northern metropolis, including civilians (and many children). A MSF-supported hospital in a rebel-held area and two under government control are hit. “People are scared," but they "still want to stay,” according to Caritas Aleppo. The latter’s operatives visit hospitals to "respond to emergencies."
Aleppo: two Orthodox bishops still captive, Christian neighbourhood shelled
For Mgr Jeanbart, Greek Melkite bishop of Aleppo, "Catholic and Orthodox religious authorities are working for the release of the two prelates." Their abduction remains a mystery. Mortars devastate one of the city's main Christian neighbourhoods, killing four.
As monk, parishioners are abducted in Syria, Gregory calls on the world to stop extremists
Overnight on Sunday, jihadi militants seized Fr Hanna Jallouf and some of his parishioners from the village of Knayeh, northern Syria. For now, their fate remains unknown. Antioch patriarch tells AsiaNews that everyone faces the same threat, calls on Christians and Muslims to demonstrate against such violence.
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Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo is optimistic about Fr Hanna, who continues his mission among Syrian Christians
Mgr Georges Abou Khazen is in contact with the Franciscan friar who was kidnapped and released in the north of the country. The latter is free to visit his community but "cannot leave Syria" before meeting with local Muslim leader. The reasons for his abduction and for the meeting remain a mystery. For moderate Muslims, Christians "are a source of dialogue and reconciliation in an absurd war."
Al- Nusra, a Jihadist brigade that scares Syrian rebels
Close to al-Qaeda, the group is connected with those who carried out the university attack in Aleppo. Al-Nusra and other Islamist groups are using force to impose their control on the opposition, ready to kill anyone standing in the way of an Islamic state in Syria.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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