Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/17/2013 (10 months 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 (10 months 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Middle East

Muslims criticize the Islamic State for perverting Islam Watch

Image of Fighters from the Islamic State watch over captured Syrian soldiers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new voice in the international community is speaking out against the Islamic State; over 100 Muslim leaders have signed a 17-page letter that criticizes and condemns the terrorist state, their actions in Iraq and Syria, and their interpretation of the Quran and ... continue reading


U.S. journalist endured continuous torture before being executed by ISIS Watch

Image of In spite of all of his torture, James Foley would share his limited rations with other captives, and gave up his blanket to somebody else in the depths of winter, other prisoners said.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forty-year-old U.S. journalist James Foley suffered torture at the hands of his ISIS captors before they killed him. Captured in 2012 and executed in 2014, his torments included waterboarding, virtual starvation and being hung upside-down by his ankles. LOS ... continue reading


Into the wrong hands: ISIS fighters seize weapons from U.S. airdrop Watch

Image of The incident was more of an embarrassment than a strategic loss. ISIL fighters already possess millions of dollars' worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State fighters are believed to have seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by the U.S. The payload reportedly missed besieged Kurdish militias defending the Syrian border town of Kobane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Yesterday we announced ... continue reading


HORRIFIC video shows Islamic State stoning Yazidi woman - by group of men, including HER father Watch

Image of In a related incident, a man was executed in Idlib province in an area controlled by Islamist groups including the Nusra Front, al Qaeda's official affiliate in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A sickening video of a young woman being stoned to death by a group of men, which includes her own father, has been released by Islamic State. The video is believed to have been filmed in the city of Hama. The clip shows a bearded cleric ranting at the woman in ... continue reading


Yazidi woman 'I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime!' Watch

Image of A Yazidi woman over the telephone that she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet. She says that her despair is so great she will commit suicide - even if she is freed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A young Yazidi woman held captive by the Islamic State for repeated sexual abuse says that she was raped 30 times in just a few hours. Kept prisoner, she now begs the West to bomb the brothel where she is being held. It's believed that she's being kept prisoner ... continue reading


Islamic State has infiltrated INSIDE of Turkey with attempt to kidnap Syrian leader Watch

Image of Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the nation. The incident has raised questions of Ankara's commitment to defeating the terror group.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Islamic State fighters batter the Syrian city of Kobani near the border with Turkey, ISIS agents are apparently now currently operating within the nation of Turkey. Militants have recently shot and wounded a senior Syrian rebel commander within the ... continue reading


Jack 'the acid' Ripper: Suspects arrested in connection with acid attacks against women in Iran Watch

Image of Though the attacks have instilled fear in some women in the city, many continue to live their lives without apologies.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iranian authorities have arrested a number of people suspected of throwing acid at women. Its' believed that the women were wearing their traditional Islamic head covering improperly. The public had grown increasingly angry over the series of attacks in the ... continue reading


Sectarian violence spreads in Yemen, where Shi'ite militia square off against al-Qaeda Watch

Image of A member of the Shi'ite military Houthi organization.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni city was taken by al Qaeda fighters, and 33 people were killed by a suicide bombing and gun fighting during the group's challenge to the Yemeni government. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is just the latest bout of violence that has erupted in ... continue reading


Al Qaeda launches 'magazine war' with Islamic State in effort to attract new recruits Watch

Image of Resurgence, the new magazine for Al Qaeda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Al Qaeda is attempting to make a comeback in the public eye following the stunning rise of the competing Islamic State. In an online publication, aimed at a global audience, the terror group is encouraging attacks at economic infrastructure. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope Francis - Petitions UN, Muslims and Christians to address 'ongoing genocide' in Iraq Watch

Image of An Iraqi man flees with children on a donkey amid hundreds of other refugees. Christians and other ethnic minorities have been driven from their ancient homelands and into camps.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has once again spoken out about the atrocities being committed in the Middle East by the Islamic State, labeling them "terrorism of previously unimaginable proportions." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis lamented, "it seems that the ... 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, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. 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