Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Statue of Christ Erected in Syria… Syrian Christians Ask for Russian Passports… Syrian Rebels Destroy Muslim Historical Sites

00 Monastery of the Mother of God. Saidnaya SYRIA. 16.10.13

Monastery of the Mother of God. Saidnaya (al-Tall DistrictRif Dimashq GovernorateSYRIA


00 Monastery of the Cherubim. Saidnaya SYRIA. 16.10.13

Monastery of the Cherubim. Saidnaya (al-Tall District. Rif Dimashq Governorate) SYRIA


An MP delegation from Russia and the Ukraine erected a monumental statue of Christ on top of the mountain near the Monastery of the Cherubim in the Syrian city of Saidnaya. The statue symbolises hope and peace. Today, the Moscow Theological Academy, which initiated the project, noted that this monument could become a symbol of the hope of all Christians that there’d be a quick termination of the bloodshed in Syria. One of the group said, “The figure of Christ giving a blessing is on the path of the historical pilgrimage route from Constantinople to Jerusalem, at a height of 2,100 metres. One can see the sculpture from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel“. The installation coincided with the Orthodox feastday of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Muslim feast of Kurban Bayram. One of the Russian delegation said, “During the three days when the work was under way, the warring parties suspended military operations in the area and watched the installation of the sculpture, which is called ‘I Came to Save the World’”. The placing of the monument was under the auspices of the Spiritual Heritage of St Paul the Apostle Foundation, known for its charitable projects in the Middle East.


In a statement posted on its website on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) said that some 50,000 Syrian Christians plan to apply for Russian citizenship, as they fear that Western-backed terrorists seek to eliminate the ancient Christian presence in Syria. A group of Christians from the Kalamoun area near Damascus wrote in a letter to the MID, “As Syrian law allows dual citizenship, we’d like to apply for Russian citizenship, if it’s possible. This would be an honour to every Syrian Christian seeking to obtain it. Of the 50,000 people… doctors, engineers, lawyers, and businessmen… ready to put their signature to this appeal, not a one wants to flee their home. We have everything that we need, we aren’t begging for money”.


After destroying and looting two Christian churches, Islamist rebels holding the northern Syrian town of ar-Raqqah destroyed a historic mosque built to commemorate the 8th-century Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid. The insurgents suppressed local protests against the destruction with the use of live gunfire. The rebels who seized the town last March are members of the radical group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. They make no secret of their affiliation to al-Qaeda. In a related development, Syria rebels destroyed a statue of the Arab poet Abu Tammam (Habib ibn Aws Al-Ta’i) in Jasim in southern Syria.

16 October 2013

Voice of Russia World Service





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