Armenian church reportedly burned down in Aleppo
Christians in Aleppo vividly remember what happened in Homs earlier this year when most of the Christian community fled the city, often by force. Some Christians fear that rebel opposition, some of whom have openly called for an Islamic state ruled by Sharia. They recall the decline of Christianity in Iraq, where about 50 percent of Iraq's 1.4 million Christians have fled the country amidst nearly a decade of church bombings, kidnappings, and sectarian murder, according to estimates by the UN Human Rights Council. Syrian Christians are concerned they will be next if an Islamist government comes to power. Today, a similar story is beginning to unfold in Aleppo where there have been several bombings in Christian-majority neighborhoods, a few Christian kidnappings, and an Armenian church that was set on fire by rebels on Monday, according to this article by ArmeniaNow.com.
10/30/2012 Syria (ArmeniaNow.com)- The St. Gevorg church in Aleppo’s Armenian-populated district of Nor Kyugh was set ablaze on Monday, reported Tert.am, quoting a representative of the local Armenian prelacy.
Speaking to the online paper, the spokesman, Zhirayr Reisian, confirmed that the church had become a target of rebels and that it had almost been reduced to ashes.
Earlier on Monday a blast near an Armenian district of Syrian capital Damascus reportedly killed 10 people and wounded around 50. Armenians were feared to be among both dead and wounded.
Later Reisian told state-run agency Armenpress that a group of 10 Christians, including seven Armenians, was kidnapped near Aleppo.
About four dozen Syrian Armenians have reportedly been killed since the start of the conflict in Syria in March 2011. Hundreds of an estimated 80,000 Syrian Armenian, mostly concentrated in Aleppo, have taken refuge in Armenia since fighting between government and opposition forces reached the city last July.