Syria – Situation in Maaloula (December 313)
We are extremely concerned by reports that 12 Syrian and Lebanese Orthodox nuns have been kidnapped from or forced out of the convent in Maaloula. If this proves to be the case, we demand their immediate release. We condemn all forms of violence against the civilian populations and all arbitrary detentions of civilians.
In addition, we demand that places of worship and religious institutions be respected. On this occasion, we reaffirm our solidarity with the churches of Syria.
The Christian town of Maaloula had already been the scene of heavy fighting in September. The Free Syrian Army, under the control of the Syrian National Coalition, had forced the Jihadists out of the town, while the Jihadists were ransacking the monasteries and churches, and the regime was bombing the town.
The Syrian National Coalition has, through its president, Ahmad al-Jarba, reaffirmed on several occasions its attachment to a free and democratic Syria that respects all its citizens and all religious groups.