MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, a Syrian lawmaker who is set to challenge the country’s long-term leader Bashar Assad in the country’s upcoming presidential election, has denied ever making anti-Christian remarks on social networks in an interview with the Rossiya Segodnya news agency.
“Every day they register fake social media accounts posting threats to various confessions in my name. International and Arab media cite these ‘sources,’ showing a total lack of professionalism. But I’m telling you officially, I’m not registered with a single social network,” Hajjar told Rossiya Segodnya.
This comment came after Arab media quoted Hajjar as allegedly saying that Christians in Syria had played only a minor role in the country’s history and should therefore be denied representation in the Syrian government.
Our faith is under mortal threat, in danger of being driven into extinction, the same pattern we have seen in neighbouring Iraq.
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) said it would give Christian residents “protection” if they agreed to the list of conditions.
The announcement came in a statement posted online.
Correspondents say ISIS is trying to implement an extreme interpretation of Islamic law in areas it controls.
Raqqa, seized by ISIS last year, was the first provincial capital to be completely in the hands of rebels.
“The Christians in Syria face a dilemma: They are morally obliged to support the protesters, but if Assad falls, sectarian strife could ravage the country and Islamic terrorists will target the Christians as they have in Iraq and Egypt,” Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst and Adviser on Radical Islam at Christian Action Network, told The Christian Post. “If they support Assad and then he falls, they could be targets for revenge. That is why you see the Christian community in Syria largely silent, not knowing what to do.”
“The Christians may ideally want democracy instead of Assad, but their community can’t enjoy that freedom if they are being destroyed,” Mauro added.
Gwendolen Cates, a filmmaker who produced a documentary on religious minorities in Iraq, told CP recently that Syria is the last remaining secular country in the Middle East and has been open to receiving religious refugees, despite being “a very oppressive regime.”
“The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year,” Chairman of U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF,)Leonard Leo
Leo said, concluding with a grim prediction that Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt.
• For Christians to have the strength to remain in Syria and be a light to their
• For Syrian refugees, inside the country and outside the borders in places
• For children traumatized by violence, and families who have lost loved ones
• For those who have been kidnapped
• For the sick, the needy and those injured in the violence
• For courage and unity for church leaders across all Christian denominations