ASIA/SYRIA - The village of Deir Atieh invaded by Islamists: Christians identified and detained
Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Militants of Islamist factions have invaded the town of Deir Atieh, north of Damascus, spreading terror, death and destruction. As Fides sources in the Greek Orthodox Church report, the attack took place on 22 November. The militants entered the municipal hospital and took hostage the sick. The museum of Deir Atieh that welcomed thousands of works and precious archaeological finds was devastated. Mosques and churches were hit and damaged. Numerous homes were looted and civilians captured and used as human shields.
The situation is particularly worrying for Christians. The population, about 25 thousand people, have begun to flee. The militiamen examine the identification documents of those who intend to leave the city and retain those who have Christian names. To be able to leave the village, a Greek Orthodox priest had to say he was married and present himself with a woman: he was allowed to go just because he had an Arab name and had no ancestry or Christian reference.
Fr. F.H., who in a note sent to Fides requested anonymity for security reasons, pleads the international community and the Holy See to mobilize in order to arrange for the release of the hostages and save the village of Deir Atieh. It is not clear, notes the source of Fides, what prompted the armed gangs to penetrate the village. Even hundreds of people from Qara, another Syrian village in the mountains of Qalamoun, 90 km from Damascus had found refuge. In recent weeks, Qara had been attacked by Islamist fighters from the city of Arzal. Among the refugees of Qara, who moved to Deir Atieh, there is also the Greek-Catholic priest Father George Luis and all his parishioners. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 25/11/2013)
- 2015-10-12 - Father Jihad (Community of Deir Mar Musa): we thank Christians and Muslims who prayed for the release of father Murad
- 2015-10-08 - The jihadists release the video of the execution of three Assyrian hostages
- 2015-10-07 - Video released on the Christians in Qaryatayn who sign a "protection pact"
- 2015-10-02 - Archbishop Hindo " McCain’s disturbing words on anti-Assad rebels armed by the CIA"
- 2015-09-29 - Bishop Abou Khazen: the choices of the West on the Syrian conflict continue to be inconsiderate
- 2015-09-25 - The self-defense "Sotoro" militias shoot each other
- 2015-09-18 - The Marists in Aleppo: there is a risk of getting used to horror
- 2015-09-15 - Four Christians among the victims of the jihadist attack in Hassaké
- 2015-09-08 - Archbishop Hindo: the demands of the jihadists for the release of the Assyrian hostages are more accessible
- 2015-09-04 - Negotiations on the release of father Murad and 270 hostages, Christians and Muslims