Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many fear agreement will further endanger Christian minority in Syria

Syrian rebels, demanding the release of imprisoned female activists, are now working with the Syrian government towards a possible "prison swap." They are now negotiating the exchange of 12 nuns, who were kidnapped at a convent north of Damascus last month in exchange of the release of the activists.

One woman captive appeared on a video shortly after their capture saying they were alive and well.

One woman captive appeared on a video shortly after their capture saying they were alive and well.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/17/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Syria, rebels, kidnapped, nuns, prisoner exchange


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As the 33-month-long Syrian civil war drags perilously close to the the three-year mark, short-term agreements have become increasingly common in the nation. Agreements leading to prisoner exchanges still remain unusual here.

There has been no official comments from the Syrian government in regards to this proposal, and calls to the Lebanon-based Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, which oversees the convent have not made a public response at this time.

Government officials had refused the demand to release prisoners, according to a spokesman for the rebel brigade al-Habib al-Moustafa said. Using the alias of Abu Nidal, the spokesman did admit that a mediator was speaking to both parties. He said his group wasn't involved in negotiations, but was relaying information from other fighters.

A Syrian opposition activist who requested anonymity also confirmed the negotiations. He says that the rebels were also demanding the release of imprisoned Saudi Arabian nationals who were captured while fighting for the opposition.

In addition, the activist said that negotiations began immediately after the nuns were seized from their convent of Mar Takla in the village of Maloula, north of Damascus on December 6 when rebels overran the area. He says that at least another three women were captured from the convent's orphanage and have been taken to the nearby rebel-held town of Yabroud.

One woman captive appeared on a video shortly after their capture saying they were alive and well. The group that released the video remains anonymous.

As of yet, no faction has announced that it has control of the women. Both Syrian opposition activists and Church officials say that the Al-Qaida-linked group Jabhat al-Nusra, or the Nusra Front, is holding them.

This recent kidnapping has fanned fears among Syria's Christian minority that Al-Qaida-linked militants and other extremists, who are increasingly prominent in rebel ranks, are targeting them.



---


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


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

(WARNING: Graphic Photos) ISIS throws another 'gay' man off rooftop to die Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has, once again, resorted to throwing a man to his death off a high building. With a large crowd witnessing the procedures, the Islamic State carries out a guilty charge to a man accused of being a "child of lot." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Destroying culture: New Islamic State video shows priceless statues beheaded Watch

Image of The five-minute video shows men going at statue after statue, knocking them to the ground and destroying them with sledgehammers and jackhammers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In another atrocity perpetrated against world history and culture, members of Islamic State are shown destroying priceless works of art in a museum in Mosul, Iraq. Some statues are beheaded in the manner of IS' squirming victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


ISIS' leading man, the masked Jihadi John's true identity revealed Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The man behind the mask in brutal ISIS execution videos, known as Jihadi John, is assumed to be a British man named Mohammed Emwazi. Jihadi John appears in the beheading videos of American hostages, James Foley and Steven Sotloff and Britan hostages, Alan Henning and ... continue reading


Islamic State butchers 15 captured Christians, calls for Muslims to watch murder of 350 more Watch

Image of Islamic State fighters captured almost 400 Syrian Christians, and are reported to have executed 15.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New reports from Syria reveal that the Islamic State may have murdered 15 of the more than 300 Christians it had captured earlier this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Catholic humanitarian group, Aid to the Church in Need, issued a report that the 15 of ... continue reading


Saudi Arabian man sentenced to death after rebelliously tearing up copy of Koran Watch

Image of Protesters simulate a flogging in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington DC in protest against the 10-year prison sentence given to a blogger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia has long been a friend to the United States and its allies, a very important hedge against militant Islamist groups and nations in the Middle East. This alignment does have limits - Western diplomats are expected to address the kingdom's many human ... continue reading


ISIS kidnaps 90 Christians from Assyrian villages Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has kidnapped at least 90 Christians - mainly women and children - from their homes after launching dawn raids on Assyrian villages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The ISIS fighters bust past a few men guarding the village of Tal Shamiram around 4 a.m. (9 ... continue reading


TRAPPED FOREVER: A first hand account on the horrific daily life in ISIS' terror captial, Raqqa Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forced blood donations, daily executions, airstrikes and forced marriages are just a few things those stuck in ISIS' capital city, Raqqa experience. Getting in with ISIS is not the hard part; getting out alive is impossible. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Abu ... continue reading


Young Iraqi Christian's unexpected plans for ISIS will leave you stunned Watch

Image of Young Persecuted Christian's remain in good spirit despite losing everything.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Every day a Christian is persecuted or murdered at the hands of ISIS. Every day someone is forced to run from their homes in Iraq or Syria. It doesn't matter if it is a child or an adult; ISIS doesn't care. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Being uprooted and forced ... continue reading


'Coming to a mall near you' Islamic State threatens shopping malls and other public places around the world Watch

Image of Groups swearing fealty to the Islamic State have sprung up in North Africa and other Middle Eastern nations.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State is not a problem for Syria, Iraq or their neighbors. Its reach has spread, with affiliated groups popping up in northern Africa and lone wolves operating on its behalf in Europe and North America, and it now poses a massive threat to the West. ... continue reading


CHILLING VIDEO surfaces of children being indoctrinated into Islamic State's World of Hate Watch

Image of The nine-minute video posted online depicts camouflage-clad boys standing in formation and obeying the commands of a militant teacher.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another shocking video, Islamic State has now released yet another propaganda video showing boys as young as five being indoctrinated at military-style training camp for "cubs." Seen as a "public reaction" ploy by the terror group, children are shown ... 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, Deuteronomy 26:16-19
16 'Yahweh your God commands you today to observe ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 5:43-48
43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 28th, 2015 Image

St. Hilary, Pope
February 28: Pope from 461-468 and guardian of Church unity. He was 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