Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 16 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giuseppe Antonio Tovini
home iconNews
line break icon

Caught in the Middle: Mortar Shell Hits Syrian Catholic Church

AFP PHOTO / AMC / ZEIN AL-RIFAI

John Burger - published on 10/27/15

Attack occurred during communion, but the only people injured were outside the building

In an increasingly complicated time for the Syrian city of Aleppo, practically no place is completely safe. On Sunday, a mortar shell hit the Latin Catholic Church of St. Francis, in the al-Aziziyah district of the city, during Mass.

Fides news agency reported that the grenade, from areas held by anti-Assad rebels, hit the roof, tearing its dome but not penetrating it. Rather, the exposing injured seven people outside.

“If the grenade had exploded inside, there would have been a massacre,” commented Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the apostolic vicar of Aleppo. He said that there were about 400 people in the church for the evening Mass and that the incident occurred as people were receiving communion.

The United Nations reports that fighting over Aleppo between government and rebel forces has intensified recently. According to the UN’s Camp Management and Camp Coordination (CCCM) cluster, at least 120,000 people have been displaced in Aleppo, Hama and Idleb governorates from Oct. 5 to 22. On Oct. 23, fighting cut the road from Hama to Aleppo, cutting off supplies and putting at risk an estimated 700,000 people living in government-controlled areas of the city. In addition, attacks on health facilities and health workers continue with a recorded five hospitals hit in Latmaneh (Hama) and Sarmin (Idleb) and Haritayn, Al Hader, and El Eis (Aleppo governorate).

The Telegraph reported that there has been intense fighting around Aleppo:

In its southern countryside, regime troops have made important gains against non-ISIL rebels, backed by Russian jets, Iranian ground troops and Shia militia from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement and several other groups recruited abroad.

Aleppo had a pre-war population of well more than two million. Many of them have already fled, especially from the large Armenian Christian minority.

Tags:
Christians in the Middle EastSyria
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
D'CRUZ FAMILY
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.