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2013-11-05

ASIA/SYRIA - The Greek Catholic parish priest of Raqqa to Islamists: You are betraying the true Islam

Raqqa (Agenzia Fides) - Archimandrite Naaman Rawik, Greek Catholic priest of Raqqa and Tabqa - city in northern Syria for months in the hands of anti -Assad militias – has found refuge in Lebanon after Islamist militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL ) had attacked and damaged his two parishes. In past days, Archimandrite Rawik addressed a public message to Islamist militants - announced by the Fraternité Chrètienne Sarthe-Orient and sent to Fides Agency - in which he condemns their violent acts against churches as opposed to the Islamic tradition. "You" refers Fr. Rawik "have erased all Christian traces, destroying our churches and offending their patron saints, taking possession of our homes and pushing pastors and their parishioners into exile (...) . Do you think you Allah, his Prophet and the Muslims in general will accept and bless your acts ?" "Islam" the Greek Catholic Archimandrite asks is not perhaps in the continuity of Abraham, the Father of all believers and religion, behind whom we Christians started to walk six hundred years before you? Isn’t a Muslim he who protects man with his own hand and with his tongue? And behold, the acts of your hands bear witness only to the abductions of men of God".
The unrelenting message from father Naaman ends pointing out the Islamist pathology as a foreign body compared to the tradition of coexistence among Christians and Muslims experienced in the Middle East: "Go back to your Holy Scriptures", writes the Archimandrite to Islamist militants, "learn the true Islam from them before one can prove with verses of the Koran that you became strangers to the Book of the teachings of Allah on tolerance, that you are now strangers to our authentically Arab way of living, that you are totally foreign to the traditions of respect in which we grew up, Muslims and Christians in Syria and Raqqa in particular".
The Roman Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio was kidnapped in Raqqa at the end of July. According to Fides Agency ( 26/08/2013) suspects of the kidnapping of Father Paolo are affiliates of ISIL. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/11/2013)

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