Syrian Christians: Caught in the middle
This past Memorial Day weekend, while Americans were travelling to cookouts, UN officials were travelling to Houla, a cluster of villages north of Homs, the epicenter of the Syrian uprising.
The massacre of 108 civilians was only the most recent atrocity in a fifteen-month-old conflict that has killed between thirteen and nineteen thousand people, most of them civilians.
In an epic understatement, the “New York Times” declared that the massacre “raised questions about the viability” of a peace plan being promoted by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. …
It’s the time for asking hard questions of those who are arguing for a greater American involvement in Syria. … One of the hardest questions is this: What will become of Syria’s substantial Christian population?
The U.S. never asked this question about Iraq’s Christian population before it invaded that country and the result was catastrophic. … Syrian Christians, like their Iraqi brethren, would be caught in the middle if an all-out civil war broke out. And while Iraqi Christians could flee to Syria, where would Syrian Christians flee? …
What’s happening in Syria is tragic and outrageous. … We’ve got to care about our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. What are we in the church doing to help them? As Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”