As order breaks down in Syria, its Christians suffer the consequences
“As the news of Syrians being slaughtered continues at a relentless pace, it is thought that over one hundred Christians have now been targeted, either killed or kidnapped in brutal ways,” Left Foot Forward reports.
By Ed Jacobs
2/7/2012 Syria (Left Foot Forward) – As Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov today meets with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascas, the estimated 2.5 million Christians in Syria live in fear, stuck between a rock and a hard place.
As the news of Syrians being slaughtered continues at a relentless pace, it is thought that over one hundred Christians have now been targeted, either killed or kidnapped in brutal ways. Reporting last month, the organisation Barnabas Fund which campaigns on behalf of persecuted Christians has explained:
The Christian community in Syria has been hit by a series of kidnappings and brutal murders; one hundred Christians have now been killed since the anti-government unrest began.
A reliable source in the country, who cannot be identified for their own safety, told Barnabas Fund that children were being especially targeted by the kidnappers, who, if they do not receive the ransom demanded, kill the victim.
And the source provided detailed information – some of which cannot be made public for security reasons – about incidents that have taken place since Christmas.
Two Christian men, one aged 28, the other a 37-year-old father with a pregnant wife, were kidnapped by the rebels in separate incidents and later found dead; the first was found hanged with numerous injuries, the second was cut into pieces and thrown in a river. Four more have been abducted, and their captors are threatening to kill them too.
On 15 January two Christians were killed as they waited for bread at a bakery. Another Christian, aged 40 with two young children, was shot dead by three armed attackers while he was driving a vehicle.”
Perhaps because of such brutality, however clear things might seem, Christians in Syria remain wary of what “change” might mean for their country, looking to Iraq where their brothers and sisters in Christ are now making a mass exodus as a result of the attacks they have faced and Egypt where the prospect of an Islamist government has been matched by on-going attacks on Christians in a way not previously seen under President Hosni Mubarak.