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Published on Jul 24, 2012
"The armed [rebels] in Syria [have] murdered more than 200 Christians in the city of Homs, including entire families with young children," a priest in Homs told Barnabas Aid magazine. "These gangs kidnapped Christians and demanded high ransoms. In two cases, after the ransoms were paid, the men's bodies were found."
"Christians are increasingly being targeted and driven out of their homes and districts." Elizabeth Kendal wrote for the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin. "Some 138,000 Christians have fled Homs, where Christians have been terrorised and churches have been looted and occupied by rebel forces... In areas under rebel control, intolerant, hard-line Sunni fundamentalism is making Muslim-Christian coexistence impossible. For the jihadists, neutrality is not an option, and Christians (and Muslims) refusing to support the jihad are being tortured, expelled and murdered."
As in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab countries, the uprisings in Syria—which initially called for democratic change and greater freedoms—provided a platform for Islamists, long-suppressed under authoritarian rule, to rally behind a fundamentalist agenda.
"For the newest generation of Sunni jihadists, Syria has become the latest front in the struggle to wrest control of the region from rival religious sects and foreign occupation," Daniel Brode, Roger Farhat, and Daniel Nisman, intelligence analysts at Max-Security Solutions, wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. "Many of these fighters hail from the vast reaches of North Africa and the Gulf, arriving in Syria with weapons, funds and a radical ideology."
Asia News, quoting Kuwait's Arabic-language newspaper, Al-Qabas, reported that "jihadists" from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Pakistan "crossed the Syrian-Turkish border to fight in the jihad alongside [opposition forces]... against the regime of Bashar el Assad." (Rescue Christians org) http://www.rescuechristians.org/2012/...