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DAMASCUS – The Archbishop of Aleppo Jean-Clement Jeanbart has urged the West to act to save Syria from the “fundamentalist, jihadist mercenaries who are killing anyone who would speak of freedom, citizenship, religious freedom and democracy”.
The Archbishop asked the West to take a serious action in Syria and “reclaim” what he called “our freedom and our rights” from the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group.
Jeanbart described how ISIS committed massacres against innocent civilians and destroyed Churches, after depriving people of their basic human rights and freedom.
“The country has been in a flood of blood. They have destroyed our economy, our industry, our churches, everything,” he said.
The Archbishop called on the Western powers to support the Christians to regain their rights and to find a political solution in Syria.
“People should fill their citizenships; they must respect each other,” he said.
“ISIS does not accept anyone whose opinions differ from theirs,” Jeanbart said, hoping for a society in which each person is free to choose their faith with no fear of repercussions.
“Nobody should be condemned because he is Christian or Muslim. If one day I feel myself believing in Mohammed I will leave my Bishop responsibilities and become a Muslim. If a Muslim is convinced Christianity is true he has to do the same and nobody can object to this choice.”
“Last month, 50 Christians have been killed many of them savagely executed by ISIS,” the Aleppo Archbishop said.
Noteworthy, ISIS extremists executed last Wednesday three Assyrian Christian men who have been taken as hostages last February after a major offensive by the extremist group on Christian areas in Hasakah province in northeastern Syria.
Syrian Christians, among other minorities, have suffered suppression during the nearly five-year war, especially at the hands of the ISIS terror group.
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.
The Assyrian Network for Human Rights appealed to the international community to intervene and free Christian civilians held by the extremist group.
Syria’s Christians, whether Assyrians, Syriacs or Armenians, have been exposed to forced displacement at the hands of ISIS and the regime-affiliated militias.
In late August, ISIS militants destroyed the Assyrian monastery of Mar Elian in al-Qaryatain town in the Syrian province of Homs.
Reporting by: Lorin Silo
Source: ARA News