Syrian rebels have reportedly taken control of an historic Christian village near Damascus. Rebel forces led by al Qaeda-linked jihadists captured the Christian village of Maaloula, situated in the mountains just north of Damascus. The village is also known as one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, which some scholars say is the language Jesus spoke.
Syrian Christians Face Extinction without Protection. All eyes are on Syria this week and its stockpile of chemical weapons. Yet, a chorus of voices is rising up from Syria’s Christians. They warn that Christianity could become non-existent in Syria if militant Islamists seize control of the country. CBN News’ Senior International Reporter Gary Lane talked with U.S. missionary Todd Nettleton, who is fresh back from meetings with Syrian church leaders in the region. An Egyptian activist jailed for 10 months by the military following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 said that his countrymen will likely take to the streets again soon to topple the forces that removed the Islamist regime of Mohammed Morsi last month. Speaking to The Times of Israel from Erfurt, Germany, where he is completing a master’s degree in public policy, Maikel Nabil said that, like the events of January 2011, Morsi’s ouster on July 3 was “both a revolution and a coup.” He voiced concern about the mounting atmosphere of fear Christian Copts have experienced during and after the Brotherhood era, which has caused scores of them to flee the country. “Some estimate that one-third of Egypt’s 12 million Copts left the country over the past five decades, and that hundreds of thousands are leaving each year. They are being pushed out, and I fear they may even face a genocide and become extinct in Egypt,” Nabil said. In this process, he asserted, the military has played as active a roll as the Muslim Brotherhood. As churches burned across Egypt in the wake of Morsi’s ouster, Nabil said the new regime opted for inaction in a bid to drive Christians out of Egypt. “The military isn’t secular, it’s Islamic, though in a different way than the Brotherhood. It’s racist towards Christians, who are discriminated against within its ranks. “People in Egypt have wishful thinking; they believe the army will implement democracy and separation of religion and state. But people have already started to become disillusioned and they will continue to be disappointed in the future,” continued Nabil. The army has also failed the loyalty test with the United States, he added. Despite billions of dollars in American military aid over the years, the Egyptian army rushed to China and Russia in search of support at the first sound of American criticism over its violent crackdown of pro-Morsi protesters. “The aid to Egypt’s army hasn’t created any kind of loyalty towards the US,” he said.