Report: Christians flee Iraq, find Syria ‘ruthless’
Christians may be fleeing war-torn Iraq and the fighting Islamic factions there to Syria, but that nation also holds “ruthless” positions against Christianity which range from life in prison for talking about your beliefs to death for a Muslim who converts, according to a ministries working there.
“It’s better than Iraq, but it’s no bed of roses there for sure,” Jim Jacobson, president of Christian Freedom International, told WND. “The Christians (there) are stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
“For Christians, one of the core tenets is the ability to share your faith, but in Syria that can lead to arrest (and) persecution,” Jacobson said. “We list Syria as one of the top … countries where Christians are facing real persecution.”
“Syria isn’t Saudi Arabia, but it’s one of the big untold stories out there,” he said. For those who want to convert from Islam to Christianity, “you’re disowned by your family, if the local mosque issues a death threat, no one is going to do anything about it, you’ll just end up dead. Nothing is done, no police action, that’s just understood.
“If you convert you’d better leave the country,” he said.
WORLD Magazine cited the case of Samer, a Jordanian Christian, who was jailed in Syria for 50 days with no notification of the nature of his “crimes.” He later was released from the Syrian court system and moved to the United States.
“I want [people] to understand that there is a false image of Islam as a religion of peace and compassion. Many countries of the Middle East have a good image here in the U.S., but their rules are not what Americans think … When [Islamic countries] talk about human rights and freedom, it’s not true – unless you remain in Islam,” he said.
Christian Solidarity International-USA also noted that “the historical process of Islamization has transformed Syria’s once thriving Christian majority into a small frightened community. Its existence is under threat…
Christian Solidarity International: Countdown for Christians in Syria
Christians in Iraq: Who Are Christians of Iraq?
Middle East Quarterly: Syria and Iraq-Repression
LewRockwell.com: Leave Syria Alone