Former Lebanese president and phalange party leader Amin Gemayel slammed the abductors of the Lebanese and Syrian Christian nuns and said their action does not honor them , has nothing to do with Islam and contradicts with the teachings of the Holy Koran.
“The abduction of the Maalula nuns does not honor those who did it and this act has nothing to do with Islam and this is a grave historic mistake that contradicts with the teachings of the Holy Koran.” Gemayel who is on an official visit to the United States told LBCI.
Gemayel’s comments come a day after the Phalange Party demanded on Monday that the international community put a stop to the violations against religious sites and individuals in Syria.
It appealed in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting to the international community to take “immediate and urgent action to ensure the release of the nuns kidnapped from Syria’s town of Maalula.”
It also urged the international community to take similar action in ensuring the release of Bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped by armed men in Syria in April.
The international community should prevent violations against Christian holy sites, it declared.
Last week, jihadists and opposition fighters entered the Syrian Christian town of Maalula and took 12 Lebanese and Syrian Greek Orthodox nuns from the Mar Takla Monastery to the Yabrud area in Qalamoun, near Damascus.
However, the nuns that vanished resurfaced on Friday in a video, saying that they had left with rebels to escape shelling in the area and were safe with a Christian family.They urged the Syrian forces to stop shelling the places of worship.
On Saturday Greek Orthodox Bishop Luqa al-Khoury declared war on the Syrian rebels by calling on the Christians to carry arms to defend Syria and its its churches and monasteries.
“Our men are ready and their fingers are on the trigger.” He warned the rebels.
“ I urge every Christian man capable of carrying weapons to defend Syria and its churches and monasteries that are being vandalized by armed groups,” Khoury said in remarks published in Az-Zaman newspaper on Saturday.
“We will not stand by idly,” the cleric stressed.
He also noted that the men are “waiting for instructions from the Patriarchate,” but stressed that “we will wait for two days, not more, until we start acting.”
Several Lebanese leaders denounced the abduction of the nuns and the Bishops.
“We denounce assaults against religious sites,” Siniora, who headed a delegation of Future Movement MPs, told reporters after meeting with Beirut Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop Elias Aoudeh.
“The attacks were not only limited to religious sites but they also targeted people who exist only to serve humanity such as the kidnapping of the two dear bishops [Paul Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim] and the nuns,” Siniora said.
“We hope that anyone who is able to help will exert every effort to release the nuns and bishops because keeping them in captivity does not serve the Syrian cause and doesn’t help overthrow the oppressive regime in Syria but leads to more violence,” he added.