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Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:13 PM


Syrian Christians Face Bleak Christmas

By James Brooke
Voice of America
Dec 22, 2012

Christmas trees and lights decorate this city on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean. As Christmas approaches, however, Syria's 2 million Christians are not celebrating. They are worrying. If an Islamist government replaces the secular government of Bashar al-Assad, they wonder what the future will be for Syria's religious minorities.

Daniel, an Armenian Orthodox, escaped from Syria three months ago with his wife and five children. "I had to come here. Because we as a Christian sect are targeted. Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaida people, came and displaced us," he said.

Tolerance fades

Before the civil war, he said, Syria was a secular nation of religious tolerance. ”At the garage where I worked, there were Armenians, Christians, Muslims,” Daniel, a 48-year-old car mechanic, said. ”We ate together, I would go eat at their place. We would not ask if someone was Muslim or Christian.”

After Egypt, Syria has the second largest population of Christians in the Arab world - about 2 million people.

More: http://www.voanews.com/content/syrian_christians_face_bleak_christmas/1570239.html

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Syrian Christians Face Bleak Christmas (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 OP
leveymg Dec 2012 #1
msongs Dec 2012 #2
graham4anything Dec 2012 #3
Igel Dec 2012 #4

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:36 PM

1. The latest UN report says Syrian war is turning into an ethnic cleansing and Muslim sectarian war

Tragically, this Administration allowed the United States to become a major part of the foreign intervention that is fueling religious warfare and crimes against humanity committed by the Sunni opposition forces we support. It's late in the game, but we can still reverse course and try to work out a diplomatic solution before this turns into full-fledged genocidal extermination.

The summary of the latest UN Human Rights Commission report released Thursday points out the increasingly sectarian nature of the civil war and the growing role of foreign fighters in human rights abuses:

Media centre

Syria Commission of Inquiry releases new update

Arabic - French

GENEVA (20 December 2012) – The independent international Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Thursday released its latest periodic update, covering the period 28 September to 16 December 2012.

The new 10-page update – the latest in a series of reports and updates produced by the Commission since it began its work in August 2011 -- paints a bleak picture of the devastating conflict and continuing international human rights and humanitarian law violations taking place in Syria.

It describes the unrelenting violence resulting in many thousands of dead and wounded, and also focuses on arbitrary detention and disappearances, huge displacement and the massive physical destruction in Syria. It describes how World Heritage sites have been damaged or destroyed, as well as entire neighbourhoods of several of the country’s biggest cities. Civilians continue to bear the brunt as the front lines between Government forces and the armed opposition have moved deeper into urban areas.

The Commission, which comprises Mr. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro (Chair), Ms. Karen AbuZayd, Ms. Carla del Ponte and Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, has been mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international human rights law. The Commission has also been tasked with investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and its mandate was recently expanded to include “investigations of all massacres.”

Although the Syrian Government has still not allowed the Commission to undertake investigations inside Syria, the Commissioners and their staff have interviewed a total of just under 1,200 witnesses and victims, including some 100 during the period covered by the latest update.

The update describes the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict, with Government forces and supporting militias attacking Sunni civilians, and reports of anti-Government armed groups attacking Alawites and other pro-Government minority communities, including Catholics, Armenian Orthodox and Druze. Some minority communities, including Christians, Kurds and Turkmen, have also been caught up in the conflict, and in some cases forced to take up arms for their own defence or to take sides.

The presence of foreign fighters, some with links to extremist groups, and the radicalisation of some of the Syrian anti-Government fighters is highlighted.

The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people are already huge, and expected to swell further in the coming months if current trends continue. The onset of winter poses particular risk both to the displaced and to those living in dire conditions in Syria’s many devastated cities, towns, and villages.


The full 10-page update can be viewed at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SY/ColSyriaDecember2012.pdf

The Commission of Inquiry will present its fourth report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013.

All the Commission of Inquiry’s reports and updates since August 2011 can be viewed at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/MENARegion/Pages/SYIndex.aspx


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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 10:51 PM

2. Islam is the religion of peace don't ya know nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:06 AM

3. Actually it is a peaceful religion, and I find this statement to one that should not be said.


It is a racial stereotype, and it not allowed for any other group.
There are a few % in any group that are not good, or have other views.
But 99% of the people want to live in peace and be left alone to live AS THEY CHOOSE.

By the way, in this day and age, I think one needs to look at who is the most dangerous group in the USA itself, the ones who do the mass shooting.

Take a good look before you stereotype and not one of those mass shootings are done by someone of the Islamic faith my friend.

No, those shootings were 20 kids just died in CT, and in Oklahama City, were 19 kiddies died,
those were done by Christian Americans.

So before broad basing an entire religion, one should look right here, not thousands of miles away and get rid of the very few people that are bad in any group and not broad bash an entire billions of people.

It reeks.

I am Jewish myself and have been the vicitm of prejudice in my life, and the life others,
and let me also remind you back in WW2, who was behind killing 20 million people, 6 million of them solely because of their religion. And I myself married a German.
I blamed the one person, not an entire race or creed.


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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 06:26 PM

4. This has happened in a fair number of places.

You'd think people would recognize the possibility of ethnic tensions, ethnic cleansing, and even genocide before they embark on a course of action.

In a lot of places the ethnic tensions that existed 100 years ago are still present. They're just secondary to other problems--a shortage of material goods, political and cultural repression that affects almost all groups, a foreign bogeyman that is more important than internal stresses and tensions.

Usually the daily problems are caused by a totalitarian state. The USSR, Iraq, Yugoslavia, heck, even the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Often the problems were *exacerbated* by the totalitarian state--so the USSR moved Russians into new areas, Yugoslavia had no trouble playing off Serbs and Croats, the Czechs had unpopular affirmative action programs and Slovakia protected Hungarian rights in a way that Hungary explicitly failed to do. Iraq moved Shi'ites into Kurdish areas and transformed Shi'ite areas into Sunni areas.

Take away the totalitarian state that everybody was oppressed by and suddenly there's a struggle for supremacy. Old tensions quickly surface and the problems that we thought resolved because they were simply frozen for generations are right back in our face.

We do the same thing over and over, get the same results over and over, and oddly are constantly surprised at the results. "Who could have expected that?" Well, just about anybody.

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