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Syrian Rebels Abduct 12 Nuns from Christian Village

Earlier this week, 12 nuns were reportedly abducted by rebel fighters, shortly after they overtook the small Christian village of Maaloula in Syria. Yesterday, Pope Francis held a vigil for the nuns, saying, “I invite everyone to pray for the sisters of the Greek Orthodox monastery of Santa Takla in Maaloula, Syria, who were taken by force by armed men two days ago. Let us continue to pray and to work together for peace.” Many of the rebel forces, who are attempting to ouster President Bashar Assad, have strong ties to Islamic extremists groups, and attacks on Christians throughout the country have become increasingly common. Prior to the civil war, the town of Maaloula was a popular tourist attraction because of its rich history and the fact that Biblical Aramaic—the language used by Jesus—is still spoken there …

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