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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Middle East

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - New video surfaces of Islamic State mass execution of 220 Syrian soldiers Watch

Image of At least 220 men were death marched into the desert and slaughtered by cheering Islamic State terrorists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new video of Islamic State atrocities has surfaced. In this graphic video, Islamic State fighters execute 220 Syrian soldiers en masse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A new video which shows the Islamic State executing at least 220 captured Syrian soldiers has ... continue reading


U.S. step up pressure on Islamic State's illicit oil sales Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The U.S. Treasury Department says that it plans to step up pressure on the extremist group's illicit oil sales. An integral part of U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to "systematically degrade, dismantle and defeat" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the ... continue reading


Beheadings? Par for the course in Saudi Arabian courts Watch

Image of Saudis have grown so accustomed to beheadings that Deera Square in Riyadh is sometimes referred to as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the on-camera beheadings James Foley and Steven Sotloff by Islamic State jihadists provoked global outrage, the practice remains a routine punishment doled out by courts in Saudi Arabia. Beheadings, along with amputations are regularly carried out against ... continue reading


Islamic State can muster 'between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria' Watch

Image of Analysts had originally estimated that there were as many as 10,000 fighters, including those who were freed from prisons by ISIS and Sunni loyalists who have joined the fight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The figures are alarming. At onetime presupposed to only number at 10,000, latest CIA estimates now say that the militant jihadist group Islamic State could now put 20,000 to 31,500 ground fighters across Syria and Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


COME PLAY WITH US? Islamic State teaching their kids how to behead yours Watch

Image of Kids are being taught how to behead westerners. The Islamic State threat may persist for at least another generation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are a lot of tragedies in Islamic State held territory because tens of thousands of people have been brutally killed. There have been other tragedies too, such as the rape of women and forced marriages. But one tragedy that is barely being noticed is the ... continue reading


Islamic State Jihadist put SWORD to her throat, she refused to renounce Christian faith Watch

Image of Told to

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blade at her neck, 54-year-old Iraqi Christian Khiria Al-Kas Isaac told her attacker that she would rather die than give up her Christian faith. Instead of decapitating her, the Islamists robbed her of all her possessions before eventually driving her from her ... continue reading


Teenage Yazidi girl tells of horrific ordeal as Islamic State sex slave Watch

Image of Allowed to speak to Italian newspaper La Repubblica on her mobile phone, her captors wanted the world to know about her horrendous treatment.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A teenage Iraqi girl, a member of the Yazidi minority has described in horrific detail her life as an Islamic State sex slave. Abused on a daily basis after being captured by Islamic State fighters, she has begged her captors to end her ordeal by killing her. ... continue reading


SEND IN THE DRONES: Predator drones flown over IS headquarters in Syria Watch

Image of Western weapons experts have identified the drones as American Predators, which were the same drones used in Pakistan and Yemen to attack suspected terrorists.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States has begun to ratchet up the tension against Islamic State. Predator drones are currently being flown over the IS' Syrian  "capital." It's part of a U.S.-led campaign targeting America the group's elusive leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. LOS ... continue reading


Democrats and Republicans agree that the Islamic State must be stopped! Watch

Image of President Obama is expected to announce a more aggressive approach to combating the Islamic State militants that are ravaging parts of Iraq and Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Pentagon has revealed that as of September 8 it has conducted 148 airstrikes against Islamic State militants who are rampaging across Iraq and Syria. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - That number may actually be much higher, as a Pentagon official familiar ... continue reading


DEATH OF A TERRORIST: Al-Shabab late leader Ahmed Godane was fiery orator Watch

Image of Fluent in both Somali and Arabic, Ahmed Godane had a reputation of being a fine orator and poet.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ahmed Abdi Godane, a much feared jihadist which ran assassination and bomb squads in Somalia has died in air strike on September 1. Very reclusive, a mystery surrounds his cult of personality even after his dreaded group Al-Shabab has selected a new leader. LOS ... 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, Numbers 21:4-9
4 They left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 78:1-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
1 [Psalm Of Asaph] My people, listen to my teaching, ... Read More

Gospel, John 3:13-17
13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 14th, 2014 Image

St. Notburga
September 14: Patroness of poor peasants and servants in the Tyrol. Born in ... 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