The situation of Christians in Syria was already complex and delicate, but the earthquake that occurred last month has aggravated the situation of these Christians.
First, the earthquake has left many people homeless and vulnerable. Among them, many Christians who were already suffering religious persecution before the natural disaster. When left homeless, these Christians face a double problem: on the one hand, the lack of housing and basic resources to survive; on the other hand, the possibility of being discriminated against and attacked for their religion in refugee camps or other places of reception.
On the other hand, the earthquake has aggravated the situation of insecurity that already existed in some areas of the country. In particular, there has been an increase in violence in the Idlib region, where the presence of Islamic extremist groups makes Christians especially vulnerable. In addition, the destruction of infrastructure and the lack of resources make security services and law enforcement even less effective in protecting this community. Many cities and towns with significant Christian populations, such as Aleppo, Homs, Latakia and Hama, were severely affected, including by the aftershocks of the earthquake.
In this context, it is important to highlight the work of humanitarian and, above all, religious organizations, such as SIT, which have been working for years to help persecuted Christians in Syria. Among the tasks carried out by the organization in the country are: the reconstruction of destroyed churches and houses and providing basic aid to the most vulnerable communities.
In short, the situation of persecuted Christians in Syria is worrisome and requires special attention from the international community. It is important that steps are taken to guarantee the safety of this religious community, as well as to ensure their right to live in freedom and without discrimination in their own country. “Let’s hope that the earthquake will shake the hearts of international communities and all world leaders, to help Syria and not forget the people who are suffering. The population is in a state of absolute despair and anguish. There are people wandering the streets, not knowing where to go and desperately looking for family and friends. Many people have died or are missing”, the Archbishop of Homps, Jean Abdo Arbach.