While Syria’s armed dissidents are being ruthlessly put down by the Assad regime, many of these same opposition forces are brutally attempting to crack down on Syria’s minority Christian population, leaving Syria’s Christians to worry gravely about what will happen to them if Assad’s regime is toppled.
The brutal and violent crackdown on its dissidents by the ruling Assad regime in Syria has been widely highlighted by media outlets who have found a way to get into the nation. Less reported amidst all this bloodshed, though, is the serious danger that Syria’s Christian minority will be in without the Assad regime that has protected them. For Christians, supporting the Assad regime, which has historically been secular, is akin to self-preservation from the Islamists who seek to topple Assad.
According to RT.com, “Bashar Assad, as well as his late father, Hafez Assad, guaranteed secular rule in Syria, protecting Christians from discrimination and guaranteeing their rights.”
Just in the last week, Christians in Syria have been shot, been forced to leave their homes, and, according to the Fides news agency and the English-language Russian news site, RT.com, have heard announcements from the minarets of mosques telling them to flee within six days
According to RT.com, at least 9,000 Christians from the western Syrian city of Qusayr were forced to seek refuge after threats from a local military chief affiliated with armed opposition groups.
RT.com reports that the areas in Syria “controlled by the opposition are witnessing the rise of radical forms of Sunni Islam” and these extremists, many of whom are in gangs that operate independently of the Free Syrian Army that rejects discrimination against Christians, are “not willing to live in peace with the Christians.”
According to RT.com, Christians make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population.