Christians refugees return to Syria

Christians refugees return to Syria

By William Murray/ aina.org

Christians in the Middle East are voting with their feet for the government of President Assad in Syria. With all that American government officials and the news media have said to condemn the secular government of Syria, surely no one should want to return there, with the civil war seemingly winding down in favor of President Assad. But that is not the case.

So far in 2017, more than 600,000 Syrians, both Christians and Muslims, have returned to their homes in Syria, as the ISIS "rebels" have been driven back. Of those Christians who fled their homes in Syria, many are returning from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Wealthier Christians who fled the civil war are returning from Europe as well.

Syria has a secular constitution. Christians have their own court system for family issues, separate from the Sharia court system of Muslims. In fact, Christian religious leaders in Syria call the several decades of rule by the Assad family a "golden era for Christians."

Hardly any Syrian Christian refugees registered with the United Nations are seeking asylum in another nation.

A Heritage Foundation report found that Syrian Christians make up tiny percentages of asylum seekers registered with the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt -- 1.5 percent, 0.2 per cent, 0.3 per cent, and 0.1 per cent, respectively. The report is very clear that Christian refugees from Syria planned to go back home if the government won.

In a World Watch Monitor article, human-rights lawyer and genocide expert, Ewelina Ochab was quoted as saying that the reality for Syria is different because "Assad is perceived as the defender of Christian minorities." She went on to say that, "Many Syrian Christians worry that once Assad is gone, they will face the same fate as Iraqi Christians suffered after Saddam Hussein's fall."

Overall, the number of Syrians returning to their homes in Syria as the secular government makes gains is staggering. According to the International Organization for Migration, almost 67 per cent of the over 600,000 who went back in the first seven months of this year returned to Aleppo province, which was won back from U.S.-backed Sunni rebels and various jihadist groups working with them. In December of 2016, the government recovered the section of Aleppo city that had been held by rebels. This stopped the almost constant mortar and sniper fire into the 80 per cent of the city rebels never held, and allowed many people to move back.

There is one certainty: The United States will not pay to rebuild any of the hundreds of bridges, overpasses and roads destroyed in the bombing of Syria as part of the strategy to defeat the ISIS.

The trauma of the people of Syria will take generations for them to overcome.

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 14:26
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