A Grim Fate for Syrian Christians
700,000 have fled
Wars fall hardest on the most vulnerable — minority religious and ethnic groups among them. Before the Syrian civil war, an estimated 1.1 million Christians lived in Syria. Around 700,000 have since fled.
The Islamic State — and other radical Islamist rebel groups — have burned churches, executed Christians or ordered them to convert at gunpoint.
“When [they] tie [up] the Christians, they tell them, ‘If you do not become Muslim, we will kill you,'” Gabriel Akyuz, a priest at the Syriac Church of Forty Martyrs told War Is Boring. “And they killed many persons. For this reason, Christian people, they fear … these groups.”
Akyuz’s church in Mardin, Turkey near the Syrian border provides lodging, food and financial support to Assyrian refugees. “They are poor and they cannot work,” he told War Is Boring. “They have no work. They have children.”