» 12/19/2013, 00.00
As negotiations for the release of the Maaloula nuns continue, Homs bishop makes an appeal
As the nuns' fate remains unclear, the authorities and foreign diplomats continue working on their release, said Mgr Mario Zenari. Meanwhile, Boutros Selwanos Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Homs, slams Islamists for their "crime", noting that "The abductors want to demonstrate that they show no mercy."
Homs (AsiaNews) - Negotiations for the release of 12 Greek Orthodox nuns
and three other young women from Maaloula continue after Islamic extremists from
the Ahrar al-Qalamoun Brigade seized them on 2 December. "Some contacts have
been established with the kidnappers," Vatican nuncio to Damascus Archbishop
Mario Zenari told AsiaNews, "but there
are no reports at present about their possible release."
For the prelate, "this kidnapping is very different" from the abduction
of Catholic and Orthodox Churchmen earlier this year. The sisters have had the
opportunity to contact the outside world by phone. Several foreign diplomats have
been working on an agreement with the kidnappers for their release. And "This bodes well for their future release," he explained.
for months there has been silence over the fate of
Mgr Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Mgr Paul Yazigi,
Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Church, who were abducted on 22 April, a
fate shared by Fr Michel Kayyal, an Armenian Catholic priest, and Fr Maher
Mahfouz, a Greek Orthodox, who were seized in February.
The nuns' abduction shocked local and world public opinion. The sisters
are known throughout Syria for their charity work with orphans of any creed and
Despite a video message broadcast by al-Jazeera
in which they offer reassurances, there are concerns about the nun's conditions
Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama, made an
appeal on 11 December for their release, slamming the serious "crime"
committed by Islamic extremists.
now reached the point where even nuns are being abducted. What have they done
wrong," the prelate asked. In his view, "The
abductors want to demonstrate that they show no mercy".
Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews that three Maaloula residents - the nun's driver and two young
people - are also being held in Yabrud.
They were abducted during the siege of the Christian village and taken
to the rebel-held city, which is under the control of Hamdi Abu Azzam al-Kuwait,
a Syrian-Kuwaiti who is also the deputy of Jabat al-Nusra Front commander Malik
Maaloula sisters in Yabrud, Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate reports
The nuns are said to be in good condition. At present, it remains unclear why Islamist insurgents took them or when they will be released. In the now deserted town, Islamists have started torching all Christian-owned homes.
26/04/2013 SYRIA - VATICAN
No sign of Orthodox bishops' release, fears of political blackmail grow
Sources tell AsiaNews they will believe in the release when they can see and talk to the two bishops. Delay is a sign that something went wrong. So far, Christians have not taken sides with either warring party. The pope calls for a political solution to the crisis. Western governments seek to arm the opposition. Accusations of nerve gas use could lead to US military intervention.
11/03/2014 SYRIA - LEBANON
Exchanged for the wife of an al Qaeda member, Ma'aloula Sisters shout "Allah Akbar"
In a video, the nuns are seen thanking everyone, including the kidnappers, and calling on God to bless them. The al-Nusra Front pledges to continue its efforts until all prisoners are freed from Syrian jails. Reports says a ransom of US$ 4 million, but mediators deny.
Pope praying for the release of Mgrs Ibrahim and Boulos al-Yaziji
Speaking to AsiaNews, Archbishop Jeanbart calls on the West to ends its "indifference". All Catholic bishops in Aleppo are "saddened and concerned" about the kidnapping of the two Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox prelates. Kidnappers are thought to be foreign fighters. Even the Orthodox Patriarchate in Moscow shares the pain of Syria's Churches.
21/04/2016 09:56:00 SYRIA - LEBANON
Patriarch Laham: We will not forget and pray for the abducted bishops
There has been no news of Syrian Orthodox bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, and Greek-orthodox bishop Boulos Yaziji, Aleppo. Gregory III: We cannot get reliable information. United effort for peace. The hope is that "their fate and their suffering" be a " sign for the future".
VATICAN - USA
Pope to Trump: America’s greatness is measured by its attention to the poor
Pope Francis exalts the "rich spiritual and ethical values that have shaped the history of the American people” and the nation’s “commitment to the advancement of human dignity and freedom worldwide ". Concerns " for the poor, the outcast and those in need who, like Lazarus, stand before our door ". The oath Trump preceded by various prayers of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish Representatives. The slogan "America first" will guide political choices. String criticism of the establishment. China’s caution and the enthusiasm of the president of Taiwan.
CHINA - UNITED STATES
The Trump era begins: The China-US relationship and the risk of war
As the inauguration ceremony of the Trump presidency approaches, the Propaganda Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party has banned all journalists from “unauthorized criticism" of Trump’ words and deeds. According to the great dissident Wei Jingsheng there is a chance that Trump will force China into fair trade deals, possibly leading to political and legal reforms. A trade war is an option.
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