[ditty_news_ticker id="27897"] fighting - Orthodox Christian Laity

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Source: Associated Press by VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV MAALOULA, Syria (AP) — Its historic churches pillaged by jihadis and buildings riddled with shrapnel, this ancient Christian town north of Damascus still bears the scars of the fierce fighting that devastated it two years ago. Residents vividly recall the shock they felt when they returned to their town after it was recaptured by the Syrian army from the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, and other militants in 2014. “We were horrified by what we saw: Everything was ruined, burned and plundered,” said Rayan Wehbi of the once-scenic hamlet that was seized by the…