Reports about attacks on the Christians of al-Qinya by Nusra Front in Idleb province have been widely reported, but as yet the details about what happened have remained unclear. Here is the truth, according to activists in the village.
One week ago, an armed group tried to seize control of a number of buildings at the Mar Yousef monastery in Qinya, claiming that these buildings belong to the Syrian National Coalition. Father Hanna Jallouf opposed the move and sent a civilian from the village to the Nusra's Dargoush court to complain.
Though the sharia court acknowledged the circumstances, it did not respond to the complaint either positively or negatively.
In order to find a quick solution for the problem, the Christians of the village communicated with the member in the Coalition, Faiz Sara, who also failed to respond.
As a result, the Nusra Front stormed the house of the priest, confiscating some seals and documents and arresting the priest with eight other Christians from the village on charges of dealing with the regime – something that completely contradicts the previous justification. Nusra said it is merely a cautionary action and that doesn’t exceed interrogation.
Previously, Nusra said the church had surplus properties and it should give them to the poor in the region, though they knew the church was housing displaced people for about two and a half years, providing them with all needs and shelter.
Father Hanna and his fellows are still under arrest and, according to other similar cases, the interrogation will take time and likely end up with the confiscation of the properties of the detainees.
According to activists, only a few families from the village now remain, while most residents are previously displaced people from Jisr al-Shughour, Mihambal and Ayn as-Suda regions.