Issues in Syria

Currently, Christians comprise 10% of the population of cereal, which we estimate to be approximately 2.2 million individuals additionally, Syria has seen a large influx of Iraqi refugees, 40% of which are Christian. Many of these Christians for the rack due to religious persecution after the 2003 look US-led invasion of Iraq. These displaced minorities are reliving the whores they thought they had escaped.

Since the violence has escalated in recent months and the looming threat of a US strike, things have become so cute significantly worse for Christians, who often viewed as allies of the Syrian President. There have been first-hand accounts of one of serious oldest Christian villages, Maalula, that has fallen into the hands of Muslim terrorist groups. The village has many churches that date to the first century, and the people of the village still speak Aramaic, the native tongue Jesus. There are reports of churches being burned, icons destroyed, and the demanding of Christians to convert to Islam.

In Aleppo, which was one of Syria’s most cosmopolitan cities, the situation has become chaotic. His Excellency Antoine Audo, Bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Aleppo, reports, “There are hundreds of thousands of internal refugees huddling in schools and makeshift camps, such as the 5,000+ who sleep outdoors in the gardens of the university campus.”

Some elements of the Syrian rebel alliance have demonstrated particular animosity and brutality towards Christians. If these elements are successful in hijacking the uprising to their ends, the future of Christians and other minorities may be more bleak than ever imagined.

Already, two Syrian bishops have been kidnapped and remain in captivity, and a priest’s beheading was videotaped among scores of cheering onlookers. Ignatius Ephrem III Younan, Patrick of the Syria Catholic Church, and Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and all the East, or both based in Syria and could become the target of violence by extremists in retaliation of military action by the US.

Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq appealed for moderation and reconciliation, saying, “We already lived, experienced, and suffered everything that is now happening other parts of the region. I asked everybody to learn from our mistakes in our sufferings, for dialogue is only possible way in this way must be kept open. Syria is alright are following this path.”

The plan was to put into place to protect Christians in Syria, otherwise, one of the worlds oldest Christian populations will confront an austere and uncertain future. We learned this the hard way when Iraq was invaded without a succession plan to protect minorities and stabilize the country after the removal of Saddam Hussein. Humanity cannot afford history to repeat itself. Action must be taken immediately.