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    » 02/12/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA

    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 a sacrifice."

    Meanwhile, clashes 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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    See also

    10/05/2016 16:28:00 SYRIA
    Aleppo pastor: truce broken “thousands” of times, rockets keep on falling and killing

    “Although fighting is less intense, many groups do not respect the truce,” says Fr Ibrahim. Prices keep rising, and the Syrian lira is in a free-fall. On 13 May, an ecumenical service will see the consecration of Syria and Aleppo to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a token for peace. The Church continues to help victims by providing food, health care, and money.



    29/04/2016 15:58:00 SYRIA
    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."



    29/04/2013 SYRIA
    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.

    07/10/2014 SYRIA
    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.

    07/08/2016 13:42:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Let us pray for the people of Aleppo, who are paying for the want of a will for peace among the powerful

    At the Angelus, Pope Francis asked twice to pray for "the civilian victims of the war". “It is unacceptable that so many defenseless persons – among them many small children – must pay the price for conflict”. Sadly, “so much injustice, violence and daily wickedness are born from the idea of ​​behaving as masters of the lives of others."





    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    In China-Holy See talks, silence shrouds future of underground priests

    Zhao Nanxiong

    Later this year, all priests must register to receive a certificate that allows them to exercise their ministry. But the request has to go through the Patriotic Association, whose statutes are "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine. Many priests, official and unofficial, now face an enormous dilemma.


    IRAQ
    Alqosh, despite the Islamic State, the Church celebrates the first communion of one hundred children



    On the feast day of the Assumption the whole community attended the function, celebrated by Mar Sako. For the patriarchal vicar, this is an historic moment for the frontier town long threatened by jihadists. The Chaldean primate calls on children to "contribute to the community." In Kirkuk His Beatitude opened a grotto dedicated to Our Lady.


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