Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Religion & Spirituality
  3. Western Religions

Islamist rebels take nuns hostage in Syria

See also

Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in Syria, is under attack from Islamist rebels. Reports are coming forth stating the Islamic fighters have captured the ancient quarter.

"In this town are situated some of the most ancient churches and shrines, which are sacred for Christian believers," said the Russian Foreign Ministry

Maaloula is home to many UNESCO world heritage sites. There are very ancient shrines and monasteries located in the area and it is considered one of the birth places of Christianity. Maaloula is also one of the few places in the world where Western Aramaic is still spoken. Western Aramaic is a biblical language similar to what Jesus would have spoken.

It is being reported that the St. Thecla Convent has been taken over and the Islamists are holding captive several nuns and their mother superior. Residents are speaking out that the Islamist rebels have begun looting, executions and are forcing residents to convert to Islam. According to the state news agency, attackers committed acts of vandalism in the town's neighborhoods around the convent, attacking locals and targeting them with sniper fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported Monday that fighters from the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front captured the old quarter of Maaloula after several days of fierce fighting. Over the weekend militants attempted to seize the rest of the town, but were fought off by the local militia forces and Syrian soldiers. Four rebels were said to be killed in fighting in the area.

Maaloula has a population of about 5,000 and is strategically important because of its proximity to Damascus. It is also close to the strategic central highway that links the capital to Homs.

Maaloula was the scene of heavy fighting in September when it changed hands at least four times. Government forces eventually gained the upper hand.

Advertisement

Life

  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Video
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Camera
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Video
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!