Pressure Increases on Christian Schools in Syria’s Autonomous NE

10/03/2018 Syria (International Christian Concern) – Controversy continues to mount regarding the forced closure of dozens of Syriac Christian schools in Syria’s autonomous northeast region. It was expected that the schools would reopen mid-September; however, media sources report that this has not happened.

De facto governing authorities have closed the schools because of a controversy regarding the curriculum. They want the teachers to speak Kurdish. However, Kurdish is rarely the lingua franca for local Christians. The authorities also want the schools to use their version of the curriculum, which is not accredited and thus student diplomas would not be recognized outside of the autonomous region.

Two incidents have recently occurred which show how the school closure issue is escalating. On September 22nd, an education director for one of the schools was beaten outside his home shortly after refusing to implement the new curriculum. A local Christian journalist who reported on the school closures was arrested on September 30th and his whereabouts remain unknown.

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