28 September 2011

Persecution Watch: Syria, and the Arab Spring

Christians in Syria fear what may come from the Sunni Muslim majority and the present unrest in Syria.  Following the age-old adage, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't," they have backed President Assad in the current struggle for power.

From the New York Times:

Syria plunges deeper into unrest by the day. On Tuesday, government troops attacked the rebellious town of Rastan with tanks and machine guns, wounding at least 20 people. With the chaos growing, Christians visiting Saydnaya on a recent Sunday said they feared that a change of power could usher in a tyranny of the Sunni Muslim majority, depriving them of the semblance of protection the Assad family has provided for four decades.

Syria’s Christian minority is sizable, about 10 percent of the population, though some here say the share is actually lower these days. Though their sentiments are by no means monolithic — Christians are represented in the opposition, and loyalty to the government is often driven more by fear than fervor — the group’s fear helps explain how President Bashar al-Assad has held on to segments of his constituency, in spite of a brutal crackdown aimed at crushing a popular uprising.

For many Syrian Christians, Mr. Assad remains predictable in a region where unpredictability has driven their brethren from war-racked places like Iraq and Lebanon, and where others have felt threatened in postrevolutionary Egypt [more].

I'm not sure how such a story warranted attention by the media, but let us give thanks it did.  The plight of the Christians remaining in the Middle East is dire.

1 comment:

  1. Not sure which post you're like to take down, so I'll just repeat my comment here. The Times has reported on this a lot, and did a longer feature on Egypt's Christians I sent you. Back in the 1990's it was also a leading voice on the genocide of the Dinka in Sudan, and of course Darfur later.