Civil War a Lose-Lose for Syria’s Christian Minority

Some Plan to Leave, Fearing Iraq-Style Purge

by Jason Ditz, September 12, 2012

Syria’s Civil War is a miserable time for virtually everyone in the country, but members of President Assad’s Alawite minority can hope for a victory for the regime, while Sunnis can hope for a better day if the rebels win.

For Syria’s Christians, there is no silver lining. Suffering like everybody else under the increasingly sectarian civil war, many members of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities are looking at leaving, fearing what is yet to come.

The growing influence of Sunni Islamists in the rebel movement means that a rebel victory would almost certainly see a purge of Christians, Druze and other minorities that would make even Iraq’s exodus pale in comparison.

Christians and other religious minorities have been scrambling to set up local militias, and while they are perceived as “pro-Assad” they are more that way by default, and even if the Assad regime does outlast the rebels, the nation will be forever changed and lingering sectarian tensions mean the Christians and others are going to be under siege for a long, long time.

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