Report: Presbyterian Church in Aleppo Bombed as Syria's Civil War Continues

(Video Still Credit: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)/Youtube)The Rev. Nuhad Tomeh, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Regional Liaison, speaks about the crisis in Syria in New York on September 17, 2012.

A Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) official says a bomb destroyed two-thirds of a Presbyterian church building on Monday in Aleppo, Syria as the civil war between pro and anti-government forces continues.

No deaths were reported.

Nuhad Tomeh, the PCUSA's regional liaison to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Gulf told the denomination's Presbyterian Mission Agency in an e-mail that the bomb collapsed a sanctuary and said it the building is beyond repair. He said he spoke with the congregation's pastor on Tuesday, November 6.

He also noted possible perpetrators.

"It is believed that the radical Islamic groups who have been largely responsible for attacking the Christian neighborhoods have done this," said Tomeh, according to the Presbyterian News Service.

The PMA also said it received an e-mail from members of the Presbyterian congregation in Aleppo saying that rebels taking over properties belonging to Christians are drawing fire from government forces.

"Christian homes and subdivisions are being taken over by the rebels from where they fire rockets on the Syrian army, and thus create reasons for the army to respond and further destroy Christian homes and institutions and shops," the Presbyterians said in the email.

Citing "other sources," the PMA reported that three Christians have been kidnapped in Aleppo, including a member of the Aleppo Presbyterian congregation, a doctor, and a Bible Society bookshop salesman.

The PMA says it is receiving contributions for relief efforts in the region. It says the work is being carried out by the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon, which is distributing food, medicine and other provisions to people suffering from the violence.

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