ASIA/SYRIA - Archbishop Hindo: may Geneva 2 not turn Syria into an Islamist State

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - The Christians of Syria, "hope that the Geneva 2 Conference opens prospects for democracy, freedom and equality for Syria". This is the reason why I am opposed to any Islamist drift that claims to impose the Sharia even in Syria as the source of the current jurisdiction, reducing the Christian community to the status of "protected minority". This was explained very clearly to Fides Agency by the Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the eparchy of Hassaké-Nisibis. "Christians", explains the Archbishop "will be glad if the so-called revolution opens the path to democracy and freedom. But now even opposition groups linked to the Free Syrian Army - which are presented as moderate compared to jihadist formations - have come together under the Islamist flag, and they say that in the new Syria the Sharia law will have to be applied, because this is what the majority wants. This is a perspective that Christians cannot accept".
Even many Syrian Islamists are linked to the positions of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Christians according to the Syrian Catholic Archbishop cannot accept this decline. "In Syria", insists Mgr. Hindo "Christians have always been an integral part of the common Homeland, full citizens, and not a 'minority'. After the French protectorate, the Syrians had chosen a secular and democratic system, before the beginning of the regime imposed by the Baath Party".
To those who insist on saying that Christians have sided with the regime of Assad, Archbishop Hindo responds with determination: "At the beginning the demonstrations against the government demanded freedom, democracy, an end to corruption. Then they came from outside to steal the revolution. The Syrian people do not want barbarism and tyranny disguised with religious words". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/01/2014)