Christian Town in Syria Now in Al Qaeda’s Hands

Posted on: September 9th, 2013 by ABC News No Comments

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Residents of the historic Christian town of Maaloula in Syria are fearing the worst after it was taken over by an al Qaeda-linked group late Saturday.

After driving out Syrian forces, a rebel commander of the al Nusra Front, which the U.S. has labeled a terrorist group, proclaimed, “We cleansed Maaloula from all the Assad dogs and all his thugs.”

The occupation of Maaloula by the Islamist militant group was confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

What this will mean for Christians in the town is not entirely certain although there are worries that the hard-line Islamists will persecute them and force them to leave the country.

As it happens, many Christians have already abandoned their homes in Syria to seek refuge in Lebanon.  Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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