In Syria, some 300,000 Christian
refugees also fleeing from UN campsIn Syria, Christians are neutral and do not want to be used
for photo ops. The United Nations, however, automatically registers them as
members of the opposition. The head of the Catholic Near East Welfare
Association (CNEWA) appeals on behalf of 1,200 families currently helped only by
the Church and generous families.تكبير الصورةتصغير الصورة معاينة الأبعاد الأصلية.
More than 300,000
Christians have fled their villages and towns to escape the war, but also UN
refugee camps, said Issam Bishara, regional director of the Catholic Near East
Welfare Association (CNEWA) in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.
Speaking to AsiaNews, he said that none of the
displaced families is in UN refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, where displaced
people are registered as rebels and used for photo ops.
In Lebanon, about 1,200 families have found
shelter with friends or relatives," Bishara said. In fact, most Christians are
not on the lists of the High Commissioner for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
They refuse to be identified as part of the mostly Sunni opposition.
Christians prefer to be neutral, above the
conflict between Muslim rebels and Bashar al-Assad's Alawis. For this reason,
they have been surviving without any substantial aid from major donors like the
UNHCR and the Red Cross. Still, "They they need everything," Bishara explained.
"The only support they get is from CNEWA."
Most Christian families who fled to Lebanon belong
to the Armenian Catholic Church in Aleppo or the Greek Catholic community in
Homs and Qasayr.
Some 500 Armenian Catholic families found refuge
with the Christian communities in Bourj Hammoud near Beirut.
<p align="justify">Some 550 Greek Catholic families from Al-Quasyr
and Homs fled to Zhale and Qaa in the Bekaa Valley where Caritas Lebanon and
other Christian organisations are active.
Bkerke, the seat of the Maronite Patriarchate,
opened its doors to 75 families Syro-Catholic families from Homs. Another 75
Syriac Orthodox families settled in Ajaltoun convent on Mount Lebanon.
However, as time goes by, "host families do not
have enough resources to help Syrian refugees," the CNEWA director noted. By
contrast, "requests are increasing day by day. Soon no one will be able to
afford even the most basic aid."
After two years of turmoil, the conflict between
the regime and the opposition has turned into a full-blown civil war. Army
deserters and Islamist militants have formed armed groups that have been able to
take on Bashar al-Assad's forces.
The clash between Alawis and Sunnis has attracted
fighters from the Middle East and North Africa. Even Europeans are said to be
fighting with jihadist movements active in the area.
Christians in Syria fear they might suffer the
fate of Iraqi Christian communities that have become the target of Islamic
Since 2003, Islamists have targeted minority
Christians with murder, attacks and various forms of discrimination, forcing
hundreds of thousands of families to leave their country