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October 18, 2013 2:21 pm

Syrian Civil War Causes One-Third of Country’s Christians to Flee Their Homes

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Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham.

JNS.orgAccording to a Syrian Christian leader, nearly one-third of Syria’s native Christians have fled their homes during the Syrian civil war.

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham said that more than 450,000 Christians out of an estimated 1.75 million have been displaced or have left the country since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011, the BBC reported.

Patriarch Gregorios, who has been criticized for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the international community needs to do more to block the flow of weapons into Syria.

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“We have to have campaign together—no more weapons, no more violence, go together to a better new vision of life,” he said.

Despite their dwindling numbers, Christians can play a role in ending the conflict, Gregorios said.

“We have to have a new vision, and that is our work as Christians, especially the Christian Arabs have to play this role to change the vision,” he said.

Syrian Christians are faced with a difficult situation due to their country’s civil war. Many Christians support President Bashar al-Assad out of fear that if he is overthrown and replaced by Islamists, they will face greater persecution, especially from al-Qaeda-linked Sunni Muslim rebel groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, who have attacked Christians. At the same time, Assad and his government are supported by Iran and its Lebanese terror proxy, Hezbollah, and have used chemical weapons against the Syrian people.

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