» 12/02/2013, 00.00
Maaloula: Islamist rebels abduct 12 nuns from the St Thecla Orthodox monastery
The sisters were abducted this afternoon when a group of armed men stormed the monastery. For Vatican nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari and the Greek Orthodox Church, the rebels have taken the nuns to Yabrud, a city 80 km from Damascus.
Maaloula refugees celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross, pray for their martyrs
"The small town conquered by the rebels is now deserted," sources told AsiaNews. In the capital, refugees organised celebrations-Mass, Eucharistic adoration and vigils-in lieu of traditional processions and bonfires. "The event was dedicated to our martyrs and the suffering of Syria," a Maaloula Christian said.
New video of abducted Ma'aloula nuns, calling for the release of "all detainees" in Syria
The video was broadcast by Al Jazeera. This time the sisters do not speak and there is only a voiceover. The sisters are a bargaining chip: the rebels want the release of all detainees in Syria.
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.
Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate: " No news of the 13 Ma'aloula nuns, we do not trust the video"
According to video released by Al-Jazeera the women religious held in Yabrud were to be released on December 9. The Greek -Orthodox Patriarchate "concerned" about their condition. Ongoing intense fighting in the area between the army and Islamist insurgents. Two Spanish journalists in Syria to a report on the anti- Assad revolution held captive by Islamic extremists.
Maaloula, a new statue of the Virgin unveiled
The new statue replaces one destroyed by the rebels in 2013. A sign of a return to normality after the destruction, killings, abductions of religious sisters nuns. At least 30% of the Syrian Christians have fled abroad or are displaced in some areas of Syria.
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