ORCCE Metropolitan to speak about contemporary martyrdom and Syria


U.S.-backed rebels are committing Christian genocide in Syria, where they are sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory. A mass exodus of thousands of Christians is taking place, even as mainstream Western reporters like Robert Fisk demonize those same Christians for being supportive of the secular regime.

With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad possibly losing his grip on power and rebels making major inroads, a possible end to the bloody civil war may be in sight. The United Nations estimates more than 10,000 have been killed in the violence since the crisis began in March 2011. Another report puts the total at more than 17,000, including 1,261 last week.

But while the defeat of Assad and the military would be welcome news to most, the sizeable Christian community of over 1.5 million is fearful for its future.

Under Assad, Christians enjoyed a measure of freedom to worship in Syria, which is 90 percent Muslim. In fact, Christians were granted a degree of religious freedom not seen in most other Middle Eastern countries — before and after Arab Spring.

According to Reuters News, the rebels include the Free Syrian Army, al-Qaeda-style jihadists, the Muslim Brotherhood and local pro-democracy Sunni liberals.

“If Assad falls, Christians in Syria are fearful of what will happen when a new government — probably a radical Islamic one — will come into power,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “Will their freedom to worship end? Will persecution increase? Will they have to flee Syria with their families as have thousands of believers in Iraq?

“Already thousands have been targeted and have fled Syria. Some have been forced to flee from cities like Homs and seek shelter and help from Christian churches in the area. Christians who supported Assad could face reprisal from the rebels. There is just a tremendous fear for their future.”

A Christian from Syria asks. “What is the free world doing to prepare for that exodus? Who is going to welcome Syrian Christians?”

In the last few months, Open Doors has been responding to the pleas for help by providing emergency relief packages to displaced Syrian Christians as well as food and medical supplies. Open Doors works in partnership with leaders from churches in designated areas.

On Sunday, September 30th 2012, 6.30pm at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, Brighton, His Grace Archbishop Lloyd OSJV will address participants at a special presentation by Open Doors representative Geoff Green about the situation in Syria, together with Dr Mariz Tadros, a Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Sussex who is working with Christian refugees from Syria and the Middle East. His Grace has been a keen follower of the plight of Christians in the Middle East and has arranged similar events for Churches Together with Coptic Christians.

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