30 August 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 02/27/2015, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Despite their uncertain fate, Mgr Audo denies rumours that 15 Christians have been killed



    The Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo, who contacted the vicar in Al-Hasakah, denies reports that the Islamic State group executed hostages. The Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus renews his call for caution "because it is difficult to have accurate information." The fate and number of kidnapped Christians by jihadists remain uncertain.

    Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Reports that Islamic State militias killed at least 15 Assyrian Christian Syrians are not true," said Mgr Antoine Audo, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo. His denial comes after several international media this afternoon reported that jihadists had begun executing hostages they held." I contacted the vicar of the Chaldeans in al-Hasakah, Fr Nidala," the prelate added. "He told me that reports about Christians being killed is not true."

    Yet, many fear the hostages might end up like the 21 Egyptian Copts executed in Libya. But so far nothing has emerged to indicate that they might share the same fate. As the Apostolic Nunciature in Damascus did a few days ago, Mgr Audo called for caution, reiterating the need to wait and see regarding the abduction of hundreds of Assyrians, at least 250 - 350 if other sources are to be believed - by the Islamic State group at the start of its push into the north-eastern governorate of Al-Hasakah.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, Apostolic Nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari, said the same. He called on everyone "to be cautious and careful because it is hard to have accurate information, and this could cause unnecessary alarm. Even the numbers are not accurate, between 90 and 350, from 12 villages. We must be careful."

    For his part, Pope Francis, who is involved with members of the Roman Curia in spiritual exercises that end today, has been praying for Syrian Christians and has been closely following developments in the Arab country.

    "This kind of solidarity is a source of great consolation, help and courage for us Syrian Christians, in this period of crisis and difficulties," said Georges Abou Khazen, apostolic vicar of Aleppo of the Latins.

    The Chaldean Church is also getting involved in helping Assyrians. "The Chaldean Patriarch, Raphael I Mar Luis Sako, sent money to the Assyrian bishop as a concrete sign of his solidarity," said Mgr Audo. "This is something very beautiful and worthy of Christian brotherhood."

    Since the beginning of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al Assad in 2011, more than 3.2 million people have fled the country whilst another 7.6 million are internally displaced. At least 200,000 people have been killed in the fighting, many of them civilians.

    In the spring of 2013, the Islamic State group emerged out of the cauldron of Syria's civil war, in all its violence and brutality. From that moment onward, it pushed forward rapidly, seizing large swathes of Syrian and Iraqi territory, where it imposed a virtual reign of terror. (DS)

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    See also

    26/02/2015 SYRIA
    IS holding more than 250 Christians, for vicar to Aleppo, pope's prayers are a source of courage
    Pope Francis is closely monitoring the situation in Syria and praying for the Christian minority. For Mgr Georges Abou Khazen, the pope's closeness is a source "of great consolation and help." The road to peace "is long, but the only one possible." At least 5,000 Christians fled from the Islamists. The UN Security Council condemns the abductions.

    09/03/2015 SYRIA
    Nuncio to Damascus: IS releases 52 abducted Christian families without a ransom payment
    No money was exchanged for the hostages, who were part of a group of 250 people taken by jihadists. Some 16 people, eight Christians and eight Kurds, are still in IS hands. The hostages were seized for use as "human shields," Mgr Zenari said. Meanwhile, fighting continued yesterday in Damascus and Aleppo.

    13/03/2015 SYRIA
    Nuncio to Syria has no news about abducted Christians, but is "confident" in a positive outcome
    Mgr Zenari told AsiaNews that the Islamic State group still holds about 200 Christians. He regrets that a previous release attempt failed because of an ambush that forced the Jihadists to retreat. For the prelate, there is still enough "good will to find a solution."

    02/03/2015 SYRIA - ISLAM
    Islamic State group frees 19 Syrian Christians in Syria after a ransom is paid
    After jihadists seized the ​​Tal Tamr area and at least ten Christian villages, they took 220 people hostage. Judged by an "Islamic court", 19 were released after paying US$ 1,700 per person. Assyrian and Islamic tribal leaders are negotiating the release of the other hostages.

    02/04/2015 SYRIA
    Vicar of Aleppo: Despite the war, churches crowded for Easter
    Mgr Georges Abou Khazen talks about crowded churches and the "moving" presence of the faithful, despite the war and Islamist threats. Muslims show their affection and join in the celebration. For apostolic nuncio of Damascus, Catholics and Orthodox brought together by the violence, with "ecumenism" as the answer to war and terror.



    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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