Monday, June 18, 2012

Syria: 9,000 Christians flee ahead of Islamic persecution

"Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, which expires this Friday."

From June 14

Syrian Islamist opposition casts out Christians

The Christian minority in Syria is facing a growing threat and thousands are being forced to flee their homes as they face harassment and discrimination from radial Islamist factions of the opposition.

At least 9,000 Christians from the western Syrian city of Qusayr were forced to seek refuge after an ultimatum from a local military chief of the armed opposition, Abdel Salam Harba, Fides news agency reports.

In the latest outburst of violence a Christian man was shot dead by a sniper in Qusayr, which neighbors the restive city of Homs.

There have been reports last week that some mosques in the city have announced from the minarets: "Christians must leave Qusayr within six days, which expires this Friday."

Two Catholic priests who fled Qusayr confirmed to the news agency that they heard the ultimatum "with their own ears" repeated from the minarets.

"The situation is unsustainable in the area and exposed to total lawlessness," Fides sources on the ground say. They also fear that the fate of Christians in Qusayr could soon affect the 10,000 believers who live in other villages in the area.

The areas controlled by the opposition are witnessing the rise of radical forms of Sunni Islam with the extremists not willing to live in peace with the Christians.

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