Christians continue to suffer greatly in Syrian conflict, many are killed as others flee from rebels

By End the Lie

A Christian church in Aleppo, Syria in 2009 (Image credit: jilliancyork/Flickr)

A Christian church in Aleppo, Syria in 2009 (Image credit: jilliancyork/Flickr)

As the conflict in Syria continues with no immediate end in sight, Syrian Christians continue to suffer and are being killed, kidnapped, forced to flee or joining the many who have chosen to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

Contrary to what one might think based on the pleasant picture painted by American politicians and the mainstream media, many Syrian Christians are being killed by the Islamist rebels and their allies in the opposition.

Catholic Online has gone as far as to describe the attacks as “genocidal” and a Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, called it “ongoing ethnic cleansing” in March of last year.

Speaking of the militants, one Orthodox bishop said, “They kill people. They do not care about people, about human lives.”

“They do not care about having killed hundreds of our people, let alone destroying churches or mosques,” Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop Luke said.

In some cases, Christians are being forced to leave their homes by Islamist rebels, according to reports, and in other cases they’re killed outright, as was the case when Syrian rebels detonated a car bomb in a mostly Christian, pro-government suburb of Damascus, killing 18 citizens including 3 children.

Other car bombs have targeted the same suburb in the past, killing at least 6 people and up to 20 depending on the source.

“If you’re a Christian, you’re worried,” Dr. Nadim Shehadi, an associate at London-based think tank Chatham House, said to NBC. “The Christians have maintained a neutrality which can be seen as being on the side of the regime or vice versa.”

However, many Christians in Syria are not neutral, but actually support Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who has long been seen as a protector of the Christian minority in Syria.

In February of this year, CNN reported on a Christian pro-government militia in Saidnaya, a town outside of Damascus.

Russia Today also reported on the pro-Assad views of many Christians in March of last year:

While NBC pointed to one individual who is identified as Amjad Hadad, “the commander of a Christian batallion [sic] of the FSA [Free Syrian Army]” and “one of the few Christians to take up arms,” most Christians support Assad.

The Spectator notes that “the Christians mostly sided with Assad,” and even when one did join the opposition, he was eventually forced out of Qusayr by Sunni rebels.

Initially, some Sunnis in Qusayr tried to protect their Christian neighbors, “But after a while, the Christians were left with a choice: fight alongside the rebels, or leave Qusayr,” Samah, a Christian mother of three, told The Spectator.

“Masked gunmen came to our house and shouted for our men to come out,” Samah said. “We could see our relatives, already captured, sitting in cars.”

In Turkey, there is even a refugee camp especially for Syriac Christians.

“The land was donated by a Syriac businessman,” Father Joaqim said to Diana Darke of the BBC. “Like us, he hopes many Syriac Christians from Syria will come with their families and settle here. Thank God for them.”

The possibility of return for some Syrians seems impossible at this point.

Christians who fled from al-Thawrah in Syria have been told by rebels, “If you want to come back, convert to Islam, or you will be killed,” according to the Assyrian International News Agency.

As individuals in the West continue to show their support for the rebels, the situation for Syrian Christians is becoming all the more troublesome. It seems that Western politicians, especially those in the United States do not care all that much about the lives of those few remaining Christians in Syria.

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2 Responses to Christians continue to suffer greatly in Syrian conflict, many are killed as others flee from rebels

  1. John USN August 13, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Thanks for reporting the plight of the Christians in Syria. There are no voices in the regular media about these real time human tragedy.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous August 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    pray for the Christians in Syria! may God keep them and give them comfort by His Holy Spirit.

    May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with them as they are persecuted like His followers were in the early Church.

    God bless them and their families. I wish there was some way I could help them other than praying.

    Please O God protect Your people in Syria! I pray in the name of Your Holy and Most Blessed Son Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Reply

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