Amid the violence and uncertainty that has characterized months of unrest in Syria, the Christian community is fearing for its future should the government of Bashar Assad fall from power, according to a report by Al-Jazeera
In a video interview, the Greek Orthodox patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East speaks of 12 churches in Damascus, saying they have never faced any problems and that they “have the freedom . . . to be Christians.”
But off camera, many fear the growing involvement of Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, in the ongoing protests, noting that often, protests originate in the mosques. As a result, many Christians are voicing strong support for Assad, hoping to counter the potential rise of fundamentalism.
One Christian interviewee “scolded” the Al-Jazeera reporter, saying “Don’t interfere in our affairs . . . We are very happy with [Assad] and don’t feel he’s just a president. He’s a loving father and has great ethics.”
Syrian security forces Thursday reportedly fired into a crowd of protestors in Deir al-Zour killing at least two demonstrators, a number which is expected to rise as details emerge. According to activists, Assad’s regime has killed at least 1,600 Syrians since March.
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