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2014-01-21

ASIA/SYRIA - NGOs: Christian representatives should participate in the peace negotiations at the Geneva 2 conference

Geneva (Agenzia Fides) – To promote the participation of a delegation of the Christian minority in the negotiations for peace in Syria, which will be held at the Geneva 2 conference, which starts tomorrow, January 22: This is what the Ong "CitizenGO" asks for, which has launched an appeal and a petition which was signed, as reported to Fides, by Church leaders and other NGOs.
An appeal sent to Fides says: "The Christian community in the Middle Eastern country has been and is still probably the most affected religious group due to the current civil war, which sees the Islamist insurgents opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. After nearly three years of conflict, about 2.6 million Syrians of Christian faith are still victims of persecution, violence and intimidation, which endanger the existence of the Christian community in Syria".
In this scenario, "the great world powers and the United Nations, that are starting peace negotiations between the warring factions, did not consider inviting any Christian minority representative (corresponding to about 12% of the Syrian population) to the peace conference in Geneva".
This is why "CitizenGo" and other NGOs support the action of the "Christian Coalition for Syria", which proposes an immediate end to hostilities and promotes the adoption of a democratic and respectful Constitution of the many ethnic and religious minorities living in the region. To defend the rights and freedoms of the Syrian Christians - says the text - "the delegates of the organization must be admitted to the peace negotiations in Geneva, which so far has always been denied to them".
The petition supports this participation, in the belief that "religious freedom is the first of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights", pointing out that in many proven cases "Syrian Christians are denied the basic right to freely profess their religious faith". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/01/2014)

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