Syria’s 2 million Christians face an intolerable dilemma. The bad option is for Bashar al-Assad to retain his brutal grip on power. The worse option — for Chistians, at least — is for Assad’s dictatorship to fall.
As some have predicted, persecution of the country’s Christian minority is escalating as the civil war spreads. Islamists, who now dominate the opposition, have embarked on a bloody campaign of genocide against Christians, who constitute about 10 percent of the population.
“As for the larger conflict, the Christians are caught in the middle,”says Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. “The churches have not allied with the Assad regime. They have no armed protector, inside or outside the country, and they have no militias of their own. But they are not simply suffering collateral damage. They are being deliberately targeted in a religious purification campaign — one that the United States government finds convenient to overlook as it supports Syria’s rebels and praises Saudi Arabia as one of our ‘closest partners.’”