Monday, September 16, 2013

Middle East latest


There are reports of the murders of at least three Christians by Islamist rebels in the Aramaic-speaking Syrian town of Maaloula (Ma'loula, Malula), although there is limited verification. What is clear, though, is that the town is caught between the Syrian Government and the rebels and things are going badly there.

Eyewitness Account of Three Syrian Christians Killed by Extremists (Joan Frawley, National Catholic Register)

Syrian Jihadist Slits Throat of Christian Man Refusing to Deny Christ, Then Taunts Fiancée, 'Jesus Didn't Come to Save Him' (Leonardo Blair, The Christian Post).

Christians fighting for survival against jihadist rebels in ancient Maaloula (Catholic Online).

Maaloula's cathedral and churches empty of Christians as Syria's latest front-line fight takes its toll. Its churches are empty, its monasteries deserted, many pitted and holed by the battles raging around them. (Bill Neely, ITV News, The Telegraph).

Syrian Militants Battle For Christian Village (Deborah Amos, NPR).

Background on Maaloula is here with many, many links.

Meanwhile in Egypt: Coptic archaeological site wrecked (Daily News Egypt).
The latest attack targeted Ansana, a historical Egyptian site believed to have been used as a Coptic monastery. Yet, information about it is scarce. “[The site] was never properly studied and published,” said archaeologist Monica Hanna. The site was bombed with dynamite. ... The whole area is full of Coptic, Syriac and Greek inscriptions that have not been completely studied and documented.
I cannot hope to keep track of all the relevant (to PaleoJudaica) atrocities happening right now in the Middle East, but these are some of them.