Guest / Limited Access /

This spring, many Syrian Christians rejected protestors' demands for embattled president Bashar al-Assad to resign. But Christians did broadly endorse democratic reforms that would bring an end to dictatorship.

"We do not support those who are calling for the fall of the regime, simply because we are [for] the process of reform and changes," said Yohanna Ibrahim, Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, at a religious summit in France.

In late May, International Christian Concern, an evangelical ministry to the persecuted church, released to Christianity Today an anonymous open letter from a "trusted Syrian source" that explains why many Syrian Christians support Assad's regime. The two-page letter calls for help from the larger Christian community. It says in part:

• "Christian service has flourished remarkably in Syria. We regard Syria as a model Arab country when it comes to freedom of worship."

• Radical Muslim groups are "responsible for the disturbance" in the country. "Christians are the first to be persecuted when we talk about governmental change."

• "We are seeking [Christians'] help to prevent what happened in Iraq and Egypt from happening in Syria. Christian service in Syria is in danger now."

An influential Syrian seminary educator who asked not to be named told CT that Syrian Christians are very aware of what happened to Christians in Iraq, including the estimated 500,000 Christian refugees who fled to Syria during the Iraq war.

"[Syrian Christians] are unwilling to see themselves becoming refugees in Lebanon," said the educator, who is currently in the United States to teach. He told CT that a majority of Syria's 1.4 million Christians want the Assad government to speed up reforms. "In a nutshell, Syrian ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedIs This the End for Mideast Christianity?
Subscriber Access Only Is This the End for Mideast Christianity?
For Mideast Christians, 2014 has been a year of bloody disaster. Are these churches on the edge of extinction?
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickGrace in a Strip Bar
Grace in a Strip Bar
Being a friend of sinners with discernment and love.
Comments
Christianity Today
Syria's Christians Back Assad
hide thisJuly July

In the Magazine

July 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.