Syrian Christians in Damascus and Aleppo are terrified of being targeted and driven away

ICC Note:

“Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo SJ of Aleppo said the Church was frightened of a repeat of the catastrophe in Homs in the spring when the Christian quarter came under fire, forcing a mass exodus of almost all of the faithful,” Aid to the Church in Need reports.

By John Pontifex

7/24/2012 Syria (Aid to the Church in Need) – Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo SJ of Aleppo said the Church was frightened of a repeat of the catastrophe in Homs in the spring when the Christian quarter came under fire, forcing a mass exodus of almost all of the faithful – more than 120,000.

The bishop reported that as conflict deepened in Aleppo and Damascus, people were turning to him, desperate for help after leaving their homes and all their belongings and fleeing for safer towns and villages.

Speaking from Aleppo on Monday, 23rd July in an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Audo said: “What we are afraid of is that in this situation of anarchy, armed people will come into Christian areas as they did in Homs.

“If they come in around our churches and round our bishopric, just as they did in Homs, it will be disastrous for us.”

He reported that at his Sunday Mass in Aleppo yesterday, the church was half empty because people were too afraid to come.

The bishop described the reasons for the threat against Christians as “very complicated”, adding: “I am not able to give clear reasons why the fighters would attack Christians.

“But what we can say is that if they went into the Christian areas, it would be very bad.

“The fear of Christians is particularly strong. We are a minority. Always we are threatened.”

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