Pray for the Church in Syria

Making all the necessary allowances for skepticism considering the source, there are ongoing reports from Syria that the anti-government revolutionaries are taking every opportunity to seize property from and execute Syrian Christians. At the very least, this sort of behavior is consistent with the general trend in the much lauded march toward free and democratic societies in the Middle East.

Armed Islamist rebel groups in Syria supported by the Obama administration and Western governments seeking to oust “President” Bashir al-Assad are engaged in “ethnic cleansing” of Christians, according to news reports and human rights organizations. And as the conflict escalates, the persecution of the once-protected Christian minority is growing as well.

The Syrian Orthodox Church, which represents over half of Syrian Christians, issued a statement saying revolutionary fighters had expelled some 50,000 Christians from the embattled city of Homs. That figure is estimated to account for about 90 percent of the Christian community there. Hundreds more — including women and children — were slaughtered, according to charitable organizations operating in the area.

The Orthodox Church referred to the persecution as the “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians” by Muslim militants linked to al Qaeda. According to its report, the so-called “Brigade Faruq” is largely to blame, with Islamic extremists going door to door and forcing followers of Christ to leave without even collecting their belongings. Their property is then stolen by rebels as “war-booty from the Christians.”

“Christians are being forced to flee the city to the safety of government-controlled areas,” noted a spokesman for the Christian relief agency Barnabas Fund, which reported that over 200 Christians had been murdered by insurgents. “Muslim rebel fighters and their families are taking over their homes.”

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