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Syrian rebel group pledges protection for Christians

Catholic World News - September 03, 2012

A Syrian rebel group has issued a pledge to protect Christians and honor religious freedom for all minority groups.

The Free Syrian Army (ESL) issued a statement from Aleppo promising that it would “put put under its protection and defense Christians and all other minorities, their holy sites, their members and assets.” The statement added that respect for different religions has been a hallmark of Syrian society, and the “ESL considers the social texture of Syria a major cultural asset which will participate in the construction of Syria's future.”

The ESL urged Christian Syrians to join its ranks, noting that its forces are now operating in areas of Aleppo that are predominantly Christian.

The willingness of Syrian rebels to honor religious freedom has been a main concern for the country’s Christians. Some rebels have accused Christians of supporting the Assad regime, while Church leaders have insisted that they are only striving to preserve religious freedom.

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