Since 2011 when the Syrian Civil War started, in a new report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) titled Targeting Christian Places of Worship in Syria is a Threat to World Heritage.” shows that over 124 churches has been deliberately damaged or destroyed.
According to CBNnews SNHR analysts accuse Assad’s regime of being responsible for 61% of the assaults on churches – making the dictator one of the biggest threats to Syria’s Christian heritage. Recording at least 75 attacks against 48 churches in eight years.
These violations by the Assad regime include dropping bombs on civilian places of worship with no military headquarters or equipment nearby, turning places of worship into military headquarters, and repeated attacks on churches.
According to the report, attacks attributed to the Assad regime were carried out by the army, security forces, local militias or Shiite foreign militias (such as those backed by Iran to support Assad).
The reports says that “Despite places of worship being designated as cultural and religious properties that should be protected, heavy and continuous aerial bombardment across Syria has resulted in the partial or total destruction of a large number of places of worship.”
“Targeting of Christian places of worship is a form of intimidation against and displacement of the Christian minority in Syria. The current regime bears direct responsibility for the destruction, displacement, and collapse of the Syrian state at various levels because it is the main cause of Syrian state institutions … being used to launch a systemic war against the popular uprising…”
However, the NGO group noted the Syrian forces attacks community perceives to be against Assad, who claimed to be “a protector” of Christians in Syria and many Christians in the country support the president.
The chairman, Fadel Abdul Ghany, in his statement said; “The Syrian regime has always invoked positive slogans painting itself as ‘protector,’ but on the ground, it has done the opposite,”
“While the regime claims that it has not committed any violations and that it is keen on protecting the Syrian state and the rights of minorities, it has carried out qualitative operations in suppressing and terrorizing all those who sought political change and reform, regardless of religion or race, and of whether this causes the destruction of the heritage of Syria and the displacement of its minorities.” He continued.
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