Iraqi Franciscan priest abducted in northwest Syria

Father Dhiya Aziz was kidnapped by militants from Yacoubieh, Idlib Province, where he serves as parish priest on Sat 4th July. The militants were purportedly taking him for a brief meeting with the Emir who exercises authority in that area, which is under the control of the Al-Qaeda affiliate group, . . . Read More

All Knayeh hostages free

All Knayeh hostages free
NOTE: This report, originally posted Oct. 8, is updated to include the release of all hostages The last of a group of 20 Syrian Christians kidnapped Oct. 5 have been released as their pastor awaits trial before an Islamic court. Rev. Hanna Jallouf, a Franciscan priest in the northeastern Syria town of Knayeh, was abducted with about 20 . . . Read More

Documents indicate Turkey connection to bishops’ kidnappers

Documents indicate Turkey connection to bishops’ kidnappers
When police arrested Magomed Abdurrahmanov in Turkey about a year ago, word spread quickly that the suspected kidnapper of two prominent Syrian bishops had been caught. The Turkish government, however, said the man they had arrested, and his companions, were nothing to worry about. Officials said they were foreigners with . . . Read More

12 nuns ‘abducted’ as rebels recapture Maaloula

12 nuns ‘abducted’ as rebels recapture Maaloula
Mar Takla, Maaloula.Richard / Flickr / Creative Commons The Vatican has reported that 12 nuns were abducted as opposition rebels captured Syria’s historically Christian town of Maaloula yesterday (December 2). The majority of the town’s Christian population is thought to have fled during clashes between government forces and rebels in . . . Read More

Syrian priest calls for end of ‘folly’

A Syrian priest was killed on Sunday (June 23) in an attack on a convent by militants linked to the jihadi group, Jabhat al-Nusra, according to Fides. Another priest, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, told the Catholic Herald that Ghassanieh, the village where Francois Murad died, “like other Christian villages, has been almost . . . Read More