Orthodox Nuns from Maaloula Finally Freed

Last September, I told you about the Syrian attack on the scenic Catholic village of Maaloula, near Damascus.

According to a report from Breitbart, Islamic rebels associated with al Qaeda burst into the town, shooting or beheading Christians who refused to convert to Islam.

More than a dozen Greek Orthodox nuns were kidnapped from their monastery of Mar Thecla by militants from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.  The nuns, who were mostly Syrian and Lebanese and who worked in the convent’s orphanage, were held in Yabroud, toward the north.

Vatican Radio reports this morning that the nuns were freed Sunday, March 9, in exchange for the release of dozens of female prisoners.  Mother Superior Pelagia Sayaf of the Maaloula convent, speaking to the Associated Press, said “God did not leave us.”

Kidnappings have become increasingly common in the troubled region.  According to human rights groups, more than 100,000 people have died and 9.5 million have been displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began three years ago.

 


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