Pope prays for kidnapped nuns in Syria
4 December 2013
VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has called for prayers for the safety of a group of 12 nuns who were taken from a Greek Orthodox monastery in the ancient town of Ma'lula in Syria.
The group of nuns had been abducted from the Saint Tecla Monastery by armed men on Monday as a group of Muslim rebels overtook the town. They moved the nuns to a rebel-held town on Tuesday.
A Syrian opposition activist named Amer has said that the women were taken away for safety reasons, the AP reports. However a nun in the nearby Saidnaya Covent, Stephanie Haddad, has said that the women are being held against their will.
During his general audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis called for the safety of the nuns.
"I invite everyone to pray for the sisters of the Greek Orthodox monastery of Santa Takla in Maaloula, Syria, who were taken by force by armed men two days ago," Pope Francis said, adding that the audience should pray for "other hostages in conflict" as well.
"Let us continue to pray and to work together for peace," he concluded.