Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beautiful mountain village of Maaloula seized by rebel forces

Christians in the remote mountain village of Maaloula say that Syrian rebel forces have ordered them to convert to Islam under pain of death. This edict is coming from people that the United States is ostensibly going to strike Syria for. 

Villagers said they heard several foreign accents among the rebels, with many feared to be Al Qaeda fighters imported into the conflict. A villager said he heard lots of Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan and Chechen dialects.

Villagers said they heard several foreign accents among the rebels, with many feared to be Al Qaeda fighters imported into the conflict. A villager said he heard lots of Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan and Chechen dialects.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/10/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Maaloula, Syria, forced converison, Islam, Christians


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fighters that have been linked to Al Qaeda took control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces. Fears have been reignited about western support for the rebel groups, which strongly infiltrated by Islamic extremists.

The rebels, many of who sport beards, shouting the phrase  "Allahu Akbar" (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village, saying that they had "liberated" the residents from government forces. 

"They shot and killed people," one Maaloula resident says. "I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?"

"I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, "either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded,'" another Christian resident said.

Another said one church had been torched while other gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.

Located 25 miles from Damascus, Maaloula is one of the few places in the world where residents still use the ancient language of Aramaic, which was spoken by Jesus and his disciples.

While the village has largely escaped the turmoil of this Middle Eastern country's civil war, Maaloula has become a key strategic battleground in the Syrian civil war because of its proximity to the capital. Formerly held by President Assad's regime, the village was captured in a rebel advance spearheaded by the hard-line Islamist al Nusra Front.

Villagers said they heard several foreign accents among the rebels, with many feared to be Al Qaeda fighters imported into the conflict. A villager said he heard lots of Tunisian, Libyan, Moroccan and Chechen dialects.

In a video posted online, a rebel commander shouted at the camera: "We cleansed Maaloula from all the Assad dogs and all his thugs." In the meantime, Syria's state news agency claimed the rebels had withdrawn and the regime had regained the village, saying: "The army inflicted heavy losses in the ranks of the terrorists."

Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

As Houthis rebels advance on Aden, Yemeni president flees by boat Watch

Image of A Yemeni man says the child, pictured riding a horse, was killed in the Saudi air stirke in Sana'a this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen are targeting military installations held by the Shia rebels. The militant factions swept into the country's south and drove Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee by sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hadi was ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen dangerously clashing with archrival Iran Watch

Image of The greatest concern is that the conflict could evolve into a proxy war between Yemen and its neighbor Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni power, and Iran, the leading Shia power.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The momentous divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Middle East has turned into open conflict in Yemen. There are widespread fears that this will draw other nations into a much wider war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Sunni coalition of Arab states ... continue reading


DRIVING MILITANTS OUT: Houthi positions in Yemen targeted by Saudi Arabia Watch

Image of The air campaign began at 7 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, according to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Backed by other Gulf States and Egypt Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Houthi militants in Yemen. The airstrikes were in response to the Yemeni president fleeing his palace ahead of advancing fighters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia builds megacity in middle of desert at cost of $100 billion Watch

Image of KAEC has its own website showing plans for the city, including details on how to invest in its growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The King Abdullah Economic City, or KAEC -- pronounced "cake," is being constructed by Saudi Arabia. The planned megacity in the desert will be slightly larger than Washington D.C. and home to approximately two million residents. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


'Death to America' Iran's Supreme Leader declares on even on nuclear weapon agreement Watch

Image of When the crowd started shouting,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States works with Iran for a comprehensive nuclear weapons treat, Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for "Death to America" this past weekend. It was contradictory news as it came shortly after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to ... continue reading


The Obama administration steps on more toes: U.S. moves from Israeli-Palestinian peace talks toward United Nations forced two-state resolution in Middle East crisis Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The continuous efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peaceful agreement on land has potentially reached its peak. The United States is edging closer to supporting the United Nations Security Council in forcing a final peace settlement, a lasting two-state ... continue reading


Netanyahu takes overwhelming victory despite left-wing busing Arabs to polls during Israeli election Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments attempted to influence the Israeli election. He says that these entities bussed Arabs to the polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments were attempting to influence the upcoming Israeli election. He says that these entities intended to bus ... continue reading


'We will blacken your life and blow up your White House.' ISIS makes direct threats in new audio accepting Boko Haram's allegiance Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"We want, Allah willing, Paris before Rome and before Al-Andalus [Spain and Portugal], [and] after that we will blacken your life and blow up your White House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower, Allah willing," Islamic State spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani warns in a ... continue reading


ISIS may hate the West - but loves our junk food! Watch

Image of Most of their meals seem to be washed down with an assortment of cavity-inducing sodas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State loves to videotape torture and mayhem to post to the shared outrage of the outside world. Now, ISIS has posted pictures glorifying their notoriously bad dietary standards. McDonald's food, sugary sodas, chocolate desserts are all on the menu for ... continue reading


Sickening new photos claim to show Iraqi troops torturing ISIS prisoners in 'revenge attacks' (Warning: Graphic Photos) Watch

Image of Horrific photos claim to show Iraqi troops imitating ISIS.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New sickening ISIS-related pictures have been made public. The various pictures show every type of torture ISIS has inflicted in previous propaganda videos and pictures. However, there is one detail that makes these new photos stand out among the others. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 12:1-11
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Regulatus
March 30: Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter