Skip to comments.Syrian Christians Fear Genocide if al-Assad Falls to Muslim Extremists
Posted on 02/22/2012 4:17:09 PM PST by Zhang Fei
Catholic bishops are warning that if the Bashar al-Assad (left) regime in Syria falls to Islamists, there may well be a mass genocide of Christians, such as seen in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Though Christians cannot support the brutality of the Assad dictatorship, few believe that rule by Muslim extremists will be any better.
Syria home to Damascus, one of the most important cities of the ancient world and of special religious significance to Christians has long had a tolerant attitude toward religious minorities. Syria's Christians estimated to be about 10 percent of the population, or 2.5 million cherish this tradition of non-religious government. The Ba'athist Party of Syria had a counterpart in the Ba'athist Party of Iraq, whose last leader was Saddam Hussein. The party was actually founded by Michael Aflaq, a Syrian Christian, and although there are many objectionable features to its politics (it is, for example, overtly socialist), people of all faiths were able to live in relative safety even in a Syria in which the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants are Muslims.
Ignatius Joseph III, Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church, explained the plight of the Syrian Christians:
The Christians in Syria face a dilemma. They are morally obligated to support the protestors, but if Assad falls, sectarian strife could ravage the country and Islamic terrorists will target Christians as they have in Iraq and Egypt. If they support Assad and he falls they could be targets for revenge. That is why the Christian community in Syria is largely silent, not knowing what to do.
Gwendolyn Cates, a filmmaker who has produced documentaries on religious minorities in the Middle East, agrees that Assad's is a very repressive regime, but also notes that Syria has been open to religious refugees who flooded the country after the rise of the Islamic regime in Iraq. She has interviewed Christians who have left Syria, and relates that the situation of those still in the country is grim.
David Wood, a Christian activist who focuses on radical Islam, notes:
Assad is brutal, but hes equally brutal towards everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim. If Islamists take over the country, and they most certainly will if the secular regime falls, they will be every bit as brutal as Assad, but they will not treat people equally. Christians will be in quite a bit of trouble.
A church leader in Syria who fears to make his identity known, spoke of the peril to Christians:
Look at what happened in Egypt and Iraq. Christians want to peacefully go out and ask for certain changes, but Islamist groups are sneaking in with their goal, which is not to make Syria better but to take over the country with their agenda. Christians will be the first to pay if this happens.
Others have predicted the dangerous position for the few Christians who might remain if there is a general exodus of Christians. The more who flee, the smaller the Christian vote in any democratic process as well as the smaller the Christian presence in community life, where many of the Christians in Syria have deep and ancient roots in their homeland.
Disturbingly, the U.S. government has been vocally supporting democratic movements in Syria, as it has in Egypt and Libya.
Now we see why 0 is considering taking him out.
Curious how 0 always backs the most anti Christian or anti free market or anti western side in every foreign policy blunder.
No pattern here. Nothing to see.
You wrote earlier:
Youd have to be a nutcase to believe the official sanitized version of the 9/11 attacks.
To which version of the 9/11 attacks do you subscribe?
The article is true. My sister in law is a Syrian Christian. They have seen what happens to Christians in Egypt.
That could be why the government of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin (both Russian Orthodox Christians) are reluctant to see Assad fall despite his brutality. There are many Orthodox Christians in Syria since the time of Christ, and they see things much more clearly than the fools in the Obama administration.
McCain wants to arm the Islamists, I bet he wouldn’t give spit to the Christians.
Yep, this Arab “Spring” is a Christian winter.
Then why does Putin support Ahmanutjob in Iran?
Russia is Saudi Arabia without an Islamist nutjob population - its entire economy depends on resource exports. As long as oil prices stay high, the Russian economy hums, and Putin remains every voter's favorite Russian. Plus - Iran supports Syria, which protects its Christian minority. Note that Christians are allowed to worship in Iran, whereas in Saudi Arabia, even private Christian gatherings are banned and subject to criminal prosecution.
The other factor is probably balance-of-power related. Iran seems to be a major threat to the Gulf countries - until you look at a map and realize that Pakistan, a Sunni country with 2.5x Iran's population and nuclear weapons, enjoys a very close relationship with the gulf countries, which have harbored lots of Pakistani politicians-in-exile. India, another nuclear power, also enjoys a good relationship with the gulf states, given that huge numbers of Indian expats pretty much keep the gulf countries running. Any Iranian invasion of its oil producing neighbors would cut off the flow of expatriate cash and make India very, very unhappy. Then there's Turkey, which is another significant regional power that shares a border with Iran and would not be happy with Iranian control of its Sunni brethren in the gulf countries. Bottom line is that while Uncle Sam is the strongest power by far in the region, there are plenty of regional powers that would stop Iran from getting up to any monkey business.
Haha okay, trying to change the subject. The fact is, the Obama foreign policy is indistinguishable from that of Bush and most Republicans and Democrats. The Iraq war has been a disaster for Christians in that country, most have been displaced. I suppose that’s Obama’s fault!