«WE ARE THE WEAK LINK BECAUSE WE WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE»
Christians are at risk in the Northern East Syria – a priest reported to ACN.
“At least three hundred Christians have left the cities of Ras al-Ain, Derbasiyah, Tall Tamr and a part of al-Malikiyah. We fear that if the fighting continues, there will be even a greater exodus of the faithful, potentially affecting also Qamishli, where 2.300 Christian families live currently. ». Such a dramatic news was received by Aid to the Church in Need from Monsignor Nidal Thomas, episcopal representative of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Hassaké (Northeastern Governorate of Syria, at the border with Turkey and Iraq).
The priest describes the situation as critical. “We don’t know what’s going on. Every hour we hear of victims and missing persons in statements made respectively by Kurds, Turks, Americans and Russians. But we don’t know the truth. What is sure and certain is that the bombings and, above all, the massacres committed by the Turks against our community, push more and more Christians to flee “.
At the moment there are few faithful families, who taken refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. Moreover Monsignor Thomas believes that it is unlikely that fleeing Christians will choose the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq as their destination. “Life there is too expensive for poor Syrian Christians. Not to mention that the Iraqi people have done nothing to avoid the dramatic scenario that has unfortunately materialized in Syria. In our country there were thousands of Christian families. No one has tried to defend us “.
Today, Christians in northeastern Syria still fear a return of jihadism, despite the confirmation of the killing of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. “It is unfortunately an eventuality which we must take seriously into account” says Monsignor Thomas. According to him, many of the men from ISIS would now be reinstated in the Free Syrian Army that entered the Ras al-Ain region.
Through pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need, the priest appeals to the international bodies to ask for support on behalf of his community. “We need help. We Christians are the people who suffered the most due to this endless conflict. We are the weak link (of the society), because we want to live in peace and we reject war. Two thirds of Christians have left the country and the remaining third risks of not surviving, while the Western countries pit against each other to divide Syria, the country already brought down to its knees, also because of international sanctions “.