These photos are a reminder of the Christian population of Syria. I do not mean to be sectarian as I am aware that Syrian Muslims are equally patriotic and intent on defending their town against the invaders. In 2005 I envisaged returning to Malula at Christmas time to see how the people there celebrate the event.
I was reminded recently of Malula, as I walked through my local city centre and saw shoppers, many of whom, sadly, have no knowledge or regard for the origins of the Christmas festival. It is a sad reflection of Western life that it ignores a part of history that impacts on us all, if we are religious or not.
No! I do not accept that the war in Syria is a solely a religious war but rather that the centuries old struggles for power prevail; under the banner of religion.
In an earlier entry I mentioned the monopoly game, played by unscrupulous people who are intent on making money at all costs. Of course becoming a mercenary is more romantic if you are a liberator fighting for truth and justice. It is not as enticing if it is done to benefit the rich and powerful.
My belief is that Syria is being punished for its non-participation in the monopoly game, as the war continues and history is destroyed. Apparently the ancient Sts. Serge at Bacchus Convent (shown in the first photo) is a case in point as it was devastated, in the fighting, last September.
The other photos show an altar, and views of the monastery itself with the Anti-Lebanon mountain range in the background.