The growing intensity of the conflict in Syria, and the increasing signs of the rebels’ success, are leaving the country’s Christian minority in a doubly dangerous position. Like all civilians, they are caught in the crossfire; and they are also at risk from the way in which the rebels are being boosted by Islamic extremist fighters.
It is impossible to say how many Christians are among the 17,000 people who have been killed, or the 120,000 who have been forced to flee their homes, but there are indications that many thousands are being affected by the conflict.
The Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians where they are in a minority and suffer discrimination, says that “tens of thousands of Christians have been driven from their cities by threats and violence. Almost the entire Christian populations of Homs and Qusayr have fled to surrounding villages or further afield. . . They are in urgent need of food and other essentials.”