The story below is from the British Newspaper, The Tablet. The under-reported side of the civil war in Syria is that it is, in large measure, a war of persecution against Christians. The majority of Christians in Syria are members of the Melkite Catholic Church. The Church in Syria has been decimated, with martyrs dying for their refusal to deny Jesus Christ, and many others fleeing. This side of the story is seldom heard.
Syrian Christians flee enclave
13 September 2013
Almost all the Christians living in the ancient Syrian village of
Maaloula, which has been under siege by rebels for more than a week,
have fled, according to a senior church leader.
Damascus-based Greek Melkite Patriarch Gregory Laham III told Vatican
Radio that witnesses told him that when the rebels moved into Maaloula
they threatened some Christians with death unless they converted to
The Patriarch on Wednesday celebrated funeral Masses for
three Greek Catholics who were shot in Maaloula, where Aramaic, the
langauge of Christ, is still spoken and studied.
Christians who fled wrote to the United States Congress to alert them of
the horror of the attack. They said that members of the Islamist
Al-Nusra Front, looted "monasteries and churches, removing sacred images
as they went on, ordering residents to abandon their religion, to
convert to Islam to save their life".
"I saw people wearing
Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses," one resident said
to the AFP news agency. One insurgent "put a pistol to the head of my
neighbour and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat
‘there is no God but [Allah].' Afterwards they joked, ‘He's one of ours
Septemebr 17, 2013
Rev. Msgr. William J. King