Catching Our Eye
Kidnappers release Syrian nuns
A group of nuns kidnapped in Maaloula, Syria, in December were released early Monday, tired but unharmed.
"God did not leave us," Mother Pelagia Sayyaf, superior of the Mar Takla monastery in Maaloula, told news reporters after the nuns had been released to Syrian authorities as part of a prisoner exchange involving 150 women and children who had been held by the Syrian government.
Sayyaf said she and the other nuns and their attendants were well treated during their captivity in Lebanon. "The [al-Nusra] Front was good to us... but we took off our crosses because we were in the wrong place to wear them,'' she was quoted by the BBC as saying.
The al-Nursa Front, a jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaida, is believed to have abducted the women.
‘Allah’ verdict postponed
Malaysia’s Federal Court has reserved judgment on a Catholic newspaper’s application to appeal against a ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ in its publication.
In a case which started in 2008, The Herald appealed to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal’s Oct. 2013 decision to ban the newspaper from using the word to refer to the Christian God.
No date has been set for when the Federal Court will again consider its judgment.
The case has potential wider repercussions for all Christian publishing, although it is still not clear what implications any judgement might have for Christian worship and other practices in Malaysia.
Sources: Free Malaysia Today, Channel News Asia
ISIS makes Christians an offer
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, has posted a list of options for Christians in the Syrian city of Raqqa:
1. Convert to Islam
2. Pay a tax equivalent to 1/4 ounce of gold. Remove all symbols of Christianity from public view. Pray only in private. Leave firearms at home.
3. Refuse the first two and become "legitimate targets". "Nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword."
ISIS, which took control of Raqqa last year, posted its conditions online.