Christian Author: Nancy W. Boyer

Oldest Christian Monasteries in Syria Under Attack

Mar Takla Christian Monastery in Syria

Mar Takla Christian Monastery in Syria

According to the AP:

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front and the Qalamon Liberation Front still control Maaloula, an ancient village that is home to two of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. Rebels captured this village on Saturday and it is reported that nuns are trying to find safe places for the orphans that they care for. Priests are also  being tortured by extremist Muslim rebels. 

Situated about 40 miles northeast of Damascus, Maaloula had until recently been firmly under the regime’s grip despite sitting in the middle of rebel-held territory east and north of the capital.

St. Theclas (Mar Takis) in Syria

St. Theclas (Mar Takis) in Syria

MTC_3770a mar-takla-ican

Maaloula Syria

Maaloula Syria

The village was a major tourist attraction before the civil war. Some of its residents still speak a version of Aramaic, a biblical language believed to have been used by Jesus. Maaloula is known as the last surviving place where Western Aramaic (Aramaic of Jesus) is still spoken.

Some History facts:

 For many centuries, the desert has provided escape and isolation for those who have left their normal life, to be alone with their God. From the beginning of the first millennium, it has been a sanctuary inhabited by monks and hermits which, in the 3rd century AD, became the birthplace of Christian monasticism.I 
 Mar Sarkis is one of the oldest surviving monasteries in Syria. It was built on the site of a pagan temple, and has elements which go back to the fifth to sixth century Byzantine period.
Mar Sarkis is the Arabic name for Saint Sergius, a Roman soldier who was executed for his Christian beliefs. This monastery still maintains its solemn historical character. Mar Taqla St. Thecla Monastery  holds the remains of St. Taqla (Thecla); daughter of one of Seleucid princes, and pupil of St. Paul.( according to author, James Gordon)

Maalula, Syria

Maalula, Syria

Modern-Day Tragedy for Syrian Christians:

The savage attacks on  the village of  Maaloula highlights fears among Syrian Christians that the alternative to Assad’s regime — which is made up mostly of Alawites, followers of an offshoot of Shiite Islam — would not tolerate minority religions.  The spotlight now is  on the deep-seated fears that many of Syria’s religious minorities harbor about the growing role of Islamic extremists on the rebel side in Syria’s civil war.   This very fear should be a focus that every Senate, House Member and Americans should be asking when looking at Syria.  Would we enable those terrorizing the Syrian Christians to  take control in this Civil War?

40078-maalula-monasteriesThe video below shows scenes from Maaloula Monastaries.


2 responses

  1. Dorothy McVey

    Thank you again for your most interesting thoughts and observations of our world.

    Like

    September 10, 2013 at 10:30

    • Dorothy, I always appreciated your words of encouragement. Pray that I will be inspired more and more as I write. Nancy Boyer

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      Like

      September 11, 2013 at 02:48