Christians are about 12% of Syria’s population, at least before the proxy war that started in 2011. The Sunni extremists who have been ravaging Syria for the last six years have persecuted, killed or driven out many Christians. Even in the very beginning of this faux revolution, the protesters were shouting, “Shiites to the Grave and Christians to Beirut.” (Apparently the slogan rhymes well in Arabic). The Sunni jihadists – hiding under the term “moderate rebels” – will decimate the Christian community if Assad’s secular government falters.
Assad protects all minorities, and his focus is on Syria, not religious ideology. He visits churches, which is almost unheard of among Muslim leaders. He celebrates Christmas with Christians, which would be close to apostasy for Wahhabis and Salafists.
Assad has been helping the Christian monasteries and churches that were destroyed/damaged by radical Islamists. This is why when churches in Syria have a public parade, they often carry a picture of Assad along with the cross.
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