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Unrest in Syria threatens Christian presence in Middle East, analyst fears

Catholic World News - July 29, 2011

The current political upheaval in Syria “has implications not just for Syria itself but for the region, in particular for Christianity in the region,” a leading analyst told Vatican Radio

Anthony O’Mahony, who directs the Centre for Eastern Christianity at London’s Heythrop College, said that the bid to unseat Syrian leader Bashir al Assad poses grave dangers for the country’s Christian minority. The collapse of the regime, he warned, could lead to new attacks on Christians—just as the fall of the Baath regime in Iraq led to a campaign of violence and intimidation against Christians in that country.

In Syria today, Christians can practice their faith openly. The rise of an Islamic regime—or of a regime that allows free rein to Islamic militants—could endanger the Christian presence and undermine the confidence of Christians in neighboring countries.

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