Christian Coalition for Syria:
International political support for Christians in Syria
During nearly three years of conflict in Syria, its Christian population has been deliberately targeted by the warring factions. Their places of worship have been demolished and sacked. Attacks, harassment, abductions and assaults continue day by day. Political and religious leaders have been tortured and killed. Through all the atrocities, one clear message has been sent to Syrians and the international community: Christians have no place in the Middle East.
99% of Christians of Syria, who comprise 12% of Syria’s population (approx. 2.6 million people), have a dual identity: a religious identity as Christians and an ethnic identity as Syriacs. All national and international platforms dealing with the crisis so far have deprived this specific section of the population of participating in negotiations about the future of Syria.
‘True democracy is defined by the majority’s respect
for minority rights in society!’
The current political impasse needs an urgent and drastic paradigm shift regarding the role that Syriacs should play in negotiations. Failing to safeguard the political and human rights of 2.6 million people will render worthless any negotiated outcome.
A growing cooperation between Syriac Christians resulted in the establishment of the Syriac National Council of Syria (SNCS) on September 8, 2012. This political group has been working for a democratic, civil, pluralistic and multi-ethnic Syria. As one of the few groups that deliberately abstained from violence, it has based its policy on comprehensive respect for The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, in which all citizens—regardless of ethnic, religion or sectarian background—have equal rights and responsibilities.
Among the opposition groups, Syriacs and other affected groups are neither included nor authentically represented in negotiation talks. Syriacs in Syria substantially outnumber other groups that have taken up arms and refuse peaceful negotiations. Almost entangled in skirmishes between Assad’s forces and radical Islamists, no voice has been given to Syriacs on any platform to date.
Syria does not want to go the route of Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt with a new constitution based on Sharia. In order to represent all sectors of Syrian society, the representation and participation of Syriacs and other religious and ethnic minorities must be increased. The Syriac people have great expectations of the United Nations, United States of America, Russian Federation, European Union countries and all democratic societies to demonstrate solidarity and cooperation on behalf of this basic human right.
While negotiation talks between the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition were moving extremely slowly at the ‘Geneva II negotiations’, Syriacs and Kurds managed to establish a strong coalition which provides fresh hope for the future of the ethnic-religious Syriac people in Syria. This coalition represents an extensive operational and effective network ‘on the ground’, well equipped to secure a powerful engagement with the political process about the future of Syria. The list of the main partner groups can be viewed on the PARTNER PAGE of this website.