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» 12/03/2013
SYRIA
Nuncio in Damascus: Fate of Orthodox nuns kidnapped by Islamists still uncertain
Msgr . Zenari tells AsiaNews: "There are no reports of the religious of St. Thecla in Maaloula , in the continuing clashes between the army and rebels ." Navi Pillay , UN High Commissioner for Human Rights : "Assad also guilty of war crimes ."

Damascus (AsiaNews) - The fate of the 12 Orthodox nuns of the monastery of Santa Tecla in Maaloula , seized yesterday afternoon by a group of Islamist insurgents is still uncertain says Mgr . Mario Zenari , Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus speaking to AsiaNews.  "We have no other news - says the Vatican representative in Syria - since last night. We can confirm that the nuns were forced to leave the monastery and follow these armed people."

The 12 nuns of the monastery of St. Thecla were abducted yesterday afternoon . According to latest reports , the nuns were being marched by a contingent of Islamist rebels towards Yabrud , about 80 km north of the capital.

For two days Maaloula has been the scene of violent clashes between the army and rebels of the Free Syrian Army ( FSA) , in whose ranks many members of the al - Qaeda linked extremist Jabat - al- Nousra militia are fighting. Archbishop Zenari points out that "the whole area is in tumult". The attacks occur mainly in the upper part of the city - the oldest - where the monasteries of St. Thecla and the Greek - Catholic Saints Sergius and Bacchus are located. On 5 September the village was invaded by the rebels, who defeated government troops.

Meanwhile, Navi Pillay , UN High Commissioner for Human Rights , said yesterday that the war crimes committed in Syria were also authorized by the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Citing an inquiry conducted by the United Nations, Pillai said that " there is ample evidence of very serious crimes . Crimes of war, crimes against humanity . [...] The brutality of the abuses perpetrated by elements on both sides defies imagination. Responsibility lies with the highest levels of government, including the head of state . "

 


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See also
12/07/2013 SYRIA
Ma'aloula nuns in video: We're fine, we will be released in two days
by Paul Dakiki
04/23/2013 SYRIA
Two Orthodox Bishops abducted by an armed group on the road to Aleppo
09/16/2013 SYRIA
Maaloula refugees celebrate the Exaltation of the Cross, pray for their martyrs
02/10/2014 SYRIA
New video of abducted Ma'aloula nuns, calling for the release of "all detainees" in Syria
12/05/2013 SYRIA
Greek orthodox patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi appeals to "conscience" of nun’s kidnappers
by Fady Noun

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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