The Pope has called on people to pray for a group of Orthodox nuns missing in Syria since Monday, December 2.
During his weekly audience at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope Francis said: “Now I would like to invite everyone to pray for the religious sisters of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St.Takla in Maaloula, Syria, and for all those who have been kidnapped on account of the on-going conflict.”
Islamist fighters captured the ancient Christian village of Maaloula and moved the 12 women from their convent.
Syrian state media is reporting that the militants – who are involved in heavy fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces – abducted the nuns.
But pro-rebel activists have said that the women were moved for their safety to Yabroud, 20 kilometres north of Maaloula.
The Vatican has so far been unable to confirm whether the nuns were kidnapped or not.