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Syrian war makes sudden appearance at convent in historic Christian town

SANA/Via EPA – A undated handout picture shows a church in the Maaloula village, northeast of Damascus, Syria.
Fighters from Free Syrian Army units briefly gained control of ancient Christian Maaloula village,
accounting to reports.

By
Washington Post

BEIRUT — High in the mountains above Damascus lies a town so remote that Syria’s war had passed it by, so untouched by time that its inhabitants still speak the language of Jesus.
The violence ravaging the rest of Syria has finally caught up with Maaloula, renowned as the oldest Christian community in the world — and the last in which the same version of Aramaic that prevailed 2,000 years ago is the native tongue.

 

On Sunday, Syrian rebels, including some affiliated with al-Qaeda, swept through Maaloula for the second time in four days, after an assault a few days earlier in which the last of its few thousand residents fled and the specter of unchecked violence threatened to convulse the iconic town.
Only a couple of dozen nuns remained, cowering in fear as warplanes screeched overhead, shells exploded and al-Qaeda-linked fighters overran their convent, turning them into witnesses to what may be one of the more extraordinary encounters of the Syrian war.
The monks had fled from their nearby monastery months ago, and even the last two priests who oversaw the affairs of Maaloula’s ancient Mar Takla nunnery took buses out of town last week, leaving the nuns of Maaloula to fend for themselves as the fighters closed in.
With Congress poised to debate President Obama’s proposed military intervention in Syria, the arrival of war in Maaloula illuminates the complexity of a conflict that has defied all attempts at resolution for 21/2 years. The future of Christianity in the region of its birth is just one of the smaller issues at stake in the discussions expected to unfold.

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – September 11, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on September 11

4:00 – 9/11: What Was Said About The “Clash of Civilations” In The Days After 9/11
In the days after the horror of Sept. 11, 2001 “Kresta in the Afternoon” has a number of guests on the air to analyze the events, Islam, Bin Laden, and what was known as the “clash of civilizations.” In this hour we talk about those very topics and hear clips of some of those interviews with Scott Hahn, Jehan Sadat (wife of the assassinated President of Egypt Anwar Sadat), Geoffrey Wawro (Professor of Military History), Norman Geisler (Islam Scholar), Dr. George Braswell (Professor of World Religions), and the now deceased Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

5:00 – Kresta Comments: President Obama’s Speech to the Nation on Syria and What Constitutes Just War Theory.

5:40 – National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Babies
In September of 1988, over 1,200 children, victims of legal abortion, were laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On September 14, twenty-five years after that burial, their memory—and the memory of all the 55 million children killed by abortion under Roe v. Wade—will be honored at more than 85 gravesites and memorial sites nationwide on the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children. You can find a memorial service near you at AbortionMemorials.com. National Sponsors Monica Millerand Eric Scheidler join us.

Toddler Moms Hatin’ on The Popcak

I got this funny but heartfelt message from a reader who felt some frustration after reading my post on the negative effects of yelling at kids.  Dr. Popcak, you’re destroying all my parenting tactics one by one. I kind of hate you right now. (But really, can you write this post but apply it to toddlers? [Read More...]

Women in Bikinis May More Easily Avoid Potentially Abusive Partners, Study Says(?)

OK, OK, the headline is a joke, but there’s a serious point behind it that I think those of us who value true purity as opposed to cheap knockoffs need to reckon with.  This past Summer I’ve been reading a lot about the 2009 Princeton study that, according to some sources, found that men can’t help [Read More...]

Yelling Makes Parenting Harder, Study Says. (+5 Things To Do Instead.)

Last week, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan released the results of a study that showed that yelling at teens actually aggravated problematic behavior rather than extinguishing it.  Likewise, teens who were consistently yelled at had higher incidences of depression, school problems, lying, stealing and fighting than kids who did not experience [Read More...]

Today on "Kresta in the Afternoon" – September 10, 2013

Talking about the “things that matter most” on September 10
 
4:00 – “Mater Eucharistiae”
The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist amazed the recording industry with their #1 debut album, Mater Eucharistiae, on both the Classical Overall and Classical Traditional Charts. Heads turned as many labels vied for the top spot and are scrambling to find out the secret behind these sisters’ success. We talk about the album with Sr. Mary David and Sr. Maria Suso.
 
5:00 – The Global Public Square: Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
How do we live with our deepest differences? In a world torn by religious conflict, the threats to human dignity are terrifyingly real. Some societies face harsh government repression and brutal sectarian violence, while others are divided by bitter conflicts over religion’s place in public life. Is there any hope for living together peacefully? Os Guinness argues that the way forward for the world lies in promoting freedom of religion and belief for people of all faiths and none. He sets out a vision of a civil and cosmopolitan global public square, and how it can be established by championing the freedom of the soul—the inviolable freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular he calls for leadership that has the courage to act on behalf of the common good. Far from utopian, this constructive vision charts a course for the future of the world. Soul freedom is not only a shining ideal but a dire necessity and an eminently practical solution to the predicaments of our time. We can indeed maximize freedom and justice and learn to negotiate deep differences in public life. For a world desperate for hope at a critical juncture of human history, here is a way forward, for the good of all. Os joins us.

"Has Anyone Wept?": Pope Francis and the Cry for Peace

6th Sep 2013         

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