Qaeda-linked rebels seize priest in Syria: Franciscan Order   2014/10/07
By: Fadi al-Halabi of AFP

Pizzaballa could not confirm reports that the convent had been plundered, saying the claim was being looked into.

Contacted online by AFP, a local Syrian activist said Al-Nusra had been trying to take charge of part of the Franciscan properties in Qunyeh, prompting Father Hanna to make a complaint to a religious court late last week.

Al-Nusra rebels had seized control of many different Christian and Muslim villages in the area in the past few years, he said.

The Franciscans, a religious order within the Catholic Church, have 19 people working across Syria, where the order has operated for 800 years. They have been working in Qunyeh for 125 years, he said.

The Custody of the Holy Land is made up of 285 members of the Franciscan Order from 39 countries.

Al-Nusra Front, which fights alongside rebels battling Assad's regime, is the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda.



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