Christians remain forgotten by the international community as the civil war continues to rage. Many Christians worry about their future prospects in Syria if Islamists are able to take over the government. The Christians population in Syria continues to dwindle as they are displaced.
12/22/2012 Syria (VoiceofAmerica) — Christmas trees and lights decorate this city on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean. As Christmas approaches, however, Syria’s 2 million Christians are not celebrating. They are worrying. If an Islamist government replaces the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, they wonder what the future will be for Syria’s religious minorities.
Daniel, an Armenian Orthodox, escaped from Syria three months ago with his wife and five children.
“I had to come here. Because we as a Christian sect are targeted. Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaida people, came and displaced us,” he said.
Before the civil war, he said, Syria was a secular nation of religious tolerance.
“At the garage where I worked, there were Armenians, Christians, Muslims,” Daniel, a 48-year-old car mechanic, said. “We ate together, I would go eat at their place. We would not ask if someone was Muslim or Christian.”
After Egypt, Syria has the second largest population of Christians in the Arab world – about 2 million people.
Kamal Sioufi, president of Caritas Lebanon, a Christian charity, worries about the future of Christianity in the region.
“The problem is in all the countries of the Middle East: the number of Muslim is increasing, the number of Christians is decreasing, and the power is for the Muslim, it is not for Christians,” said Sioufi.
The losers in Syria’s civil war could be the Christians, about 10 percent of the population.
“The problem is the minority because they haven’t any power is Syria, so they have… they will be people of a second category,” said Sioufi.