Christians Fear Regime Change in Syria

What is the alternative to Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria? A simple if indirect way to find out is to consider which groups in Syria are especially for or against Assad—and why.

Christian minorities, who, at 10% of the Syrian population, have the most to gain from a secular government and the most to suffer from a Sharia-state, have no choice but to prefer Assad. They are already seeing aspects of the alternative. A recent Barnabas Fund report titled “Christians in Syria Targeted in Series of Kidnappings and Killings; 100 Dead,” tells of how “children were being especially targeted by the kidnappers, who, if they do not receive the ransom demanded, kill the victim.” In one instance, kidnappers videotaped a Christian boy as they murdered him in an attempt to frame the government; one man “was cut into pieces and thrown in a river” and another “was found hanged with numerous injuries.”

Accordingly, it is understandable that, as an earlier report put it, “Christians have mostly stayed away from the protests in Syria, having been well treated and afforded a considerable amount of religious freedom under President Assad’s regime.” After all, “Should Assad fall, it is feared that Syria could go the way of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence. Many of them went to Syria.”...

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