Syrian Christian Orthodox celebrate Easter. File photo
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QAMISHLI – Christians constitute a main social component in Hasakah province and other areas across Syria. During the crisis, many Christians escaped their homes.
Attacks by militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Assyrian villages in Hasakah and Homs have caused mass displacement among the Christian population.
The ISIS group has abducted more than 200 Assyrian Christians from the countryside of Hasakah after storming their villages near the town of Tel Temir nearly eight months ago. Dozens others were taken hostages in al-Qaryatain village of Homs province.
The radical group carries out atrocities against Christians after accusing them of apostasy and legitimizes their death, confiscation of their property and enslavement of their women.
Syria’s Christians, whether Assyrians, Syriacs or Armenians, have been exposed to forced displacement at the hands of ISIS and the regime-affiliated militias.
Speaking to ARA News, Assyrian politician Nazira Gewriyeh said: “The horrible atrocities and persecution practiced by terror groups and regime-affiliated militias on our Christian community have played a major role in the emigration of many Christian families outside the country.”
“ISIS terrorists consider Christians as apostates and justify the robbery of their property and the raping of their women.”
Mallik Yaqoub, member of the Assyrian Democratic Organization in Syria’s Qamishli, said: “The emigration of the Syriac-Assyrian community from Hasakah and other Syrian areas is not a very new phenomenon. Over the past fifty years this minority group has been fleeing suppression, exclusion, marginalization and persecution under dictatorship and tyranny in Syria.”
“Such arbitrary practices have influenced different communities in Syria, especially the Syriac-Assyrian Christian community,” Yaqoub told ARA News.
Robel Baho, a Christian resident of Qamishli, commented on the recent wave of emigration among the Assyrian community, saying: “There are many reasons for our people to emigrate, including the miserable economic and security conditions.”
“The Assyrian community is also deprived of its rights in Syria. We have never been given the change to prove our ability to run the country. Another reason for this community to escape Syria is the political agenda of the different forces that mostly exclude the Christians from owed centers,” he added.
Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh