Middle East

Syria Fight Focuses on Christian City That Still Speaks Language of Jesus

(UPDATED) Pilgrimage destination where Aramaic is spoken has exchanged hands three times in six days.
Syria Fight Focuses on Christian City That Still Speaks Language of Jesus
Image: Courtesy of Heretiq/Wikimedia
Christian neighborhood below Maaloula's Mar Sarkis monastery.

Update (Sept. 20): Maaloula remains "the first such attack on a notable Christian community since the start of the uprising," but local Christians are "casting doubt on the jihadist threat," reports the BBC.

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Update (Sept. 10): The New York Timesassesses the "public relations problem" that Maaloula presents Syrian rebels:

Their incursion into the town, led by extremist Islamists, reinforces the worst fears of Syrian Christians and could bolster President Bashar al-Assad's claims that he is the Christians' protector. It may also complicate President Obama's task as he struggles to convince Americans that a military strike against Mr. Assad will not strengthen Islamic extremists.

Meanwhile, The Economistnotes "why the ravaging of an Aramaic-speaking village is a cultural tragedy as well as a human one."

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One of the few places in the world where the language of Jesus is still spoken has become the latest focal point ...

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