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Source: Pravmir.com According to preliminary data, Syrian bishops abducted in the vicinity of the country’s northern city of Aleppo in 2013 are alive and currently in the city of Raqqa occupied by the Daesh militant group, a mother superior at the Monastery and Convent of Saint James the Mutilated, located in the western Syrian town of Qarah, said Wednesday. MOSCOW (Sputnik) – In 2013, militants captured Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo Paul Yazidzhi and Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo John Ibrahim. In December 2015, reports emerged about their execution. We have received information from our sources that they are in Raqqa, and…

Source: Pravoslavie.ru Buenos Aires, June 24, 2016 An open letter from METROPOLITAN PAUL of ALEPPO addressed to all the Hierarchs of the Orthodox Church on the Feast of the Holy Spirit My chains, the bond of our unity Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you… may become what I am, except for these chains (Acts 26:29) Your Holinesses, Your Beatitudes, Your Eminences and Your Graces, Hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, My Fathers and brothers in the grace of the episcopate, “Apostles of Christ” and “Servants” of the people of God in all the oikoumene, This year,…

Source: Manoramaonline Qamishli, Syria: Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, head of the Syrian Orthodox church, had a close shave on Sunday when a suicide bomber detonated himself at a commemoration attended by him. Three people were killed in northeast Syria when the bomber attacked an event commemorating the massacre of Christians more than a century ago, state media and a security source said. Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II was leading the commemoration and security sources said he was the target of the bomber. He escaped without any injuries. Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II is the supreme leader of Syrian churches including the Jacobite church…

Source: Newsweek BY CONOR GAFFEY The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) killed scores of Christians when they captured a Syrian town recently liberated by the government, a Syrian Christian leader has said. ISIS swept into the town of Al-Qaryatain in August 2015, kidnapping at least 230 civilians including dozens of Christians in the central Syrian town, which lies 104 kilometers (65 miles) southwest of Palmyra. The town had a population of some 2,000 Syriac Catholics and Orthodox Christians prior to the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, but this had dropped to just 300 before ISIS took control.…

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…

Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities International Orthodox Christian Charities Response to the Crisis in Syria International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) supports one of the largest established networks to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid inside Syria where more than 12.2 million people are currently in need of assistance, 7.6 million of which are internally displaced. In addition to its work inside Syria, IOCC staff is working regionally to address the growing needs of more than 4 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Armenia, Greece, and Serbia, as well as people in need in those host countries. Responding to one of the worst…

Source: Christianity Today The American church has a key role in rescuing, restoring, and returning Christians and other religious minorities who have fled ISIS. by Chris Seiple ‘Tell them that we Christians exist. We are the bridge between East and West,” said Felomain Nassar-Batshone, program manager, at International Orthodox Christian Charities, Amman, Jordan. The story never changes. Whenever ISIS terrorists approach an Iraqi or Syrian village, Christians are given a fateful choice: They can stay and pay a tax to ISIS. They can convert to Islam. They can be martyred as Christians. Or, they flee. We Americans would do well to…

Source: ARKA News Agency YEREVAN, April 27. /ARKA/. A memorial devoted to the centenary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey will be installed in the historical part of Damascus, Bab-Sharqi, with the names of the victims, Novosti-Armenia reported referring to RIA Novosti. The foundation stone laying ceremony took place on Sunday, attended by the head of the Armenian Orthodox Patriarchate of Damascus Armash Nalbandyan and Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch Ignatius Afram II. A procession through historical part of Damascus was held toward the place where the monument will be erected, despite the security threats and…

Source: The Blaze It’s been two years since two top Christian clergymen were kidnapped by gunmen in Syria, prompting the brother of one of the victims – himself a senior cleric – to raise alarm that “the world is silent.” “We hope that the bishops are alive, but unfortunately the world is silent and nobody has provided physical evidence,” Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch said last week on the anniversary of their disappearance, the Catholic Herald reported. The two religious leaders, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi, were kidnapped by gunmen in April 2013…

Source: International Orthodox Christian Charities Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — Fleeing for their lives, more than 2,400 exhausted and traumatized Christians from northeastern Syria sought refuge in the towns of Hasakah and Qamishli after their small communities were terrorized this week. The attackers targeted a stretch of villages along the southern bank of the Khabour River, where they burned homes and churches, murdered a fleeing 16-year-old boy, and abducted 150 Assyrian Christian men, women and children from their homes. For those who managed to escape the attack and seek shelter in Hasakah, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), with its church partner,…

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