Syria: Jihadist rebels confiscate Christian properties

April 26, 2020

The persecution of Christians in Syria is ongoing; many Christians have left, and those who remain are in a  dire situation from jihadist groups that remain active in Christian areas.

In the words of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom in Washington, DC in December 2017: “All Christian brothers and sisters in the Middle East are facing dire consequences due to the constant upheavals and disastrous war-making that have afflicted the region for a season of intolerable length….In trust we turn to the almighty and merciful God in a prayer for peace in the Holy Land and in the Middle East in general. We especially pray for the Churches in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, which have suffered most grievously due to recent events. We encourage all parties regardless of their religious convictions to continue to work for reconciliation and for the just recognition of peoples’ rights. We are persuaded that it is not arms, but dialogue, pardon and reconciliation that are the only possible means to achieve peace. Our appeal continues to this day, more urgent than ever.”

As the foreign affairs secretary of the Philippines said recently, “The next Holocaust will be of Christians.” Hungary’s foreign minister noted that “in global politics, the fact that Christians are persecuted is being ignored.”

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Syria, see here.

“Jihadist rebels confiscate Christian properties in Idlib,” AMN, April 25, 2020:

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:15 P.M.) – The jihadist rebels have been confiscating Christian properties in Idlib on the basis of their religion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday.

“Christians in Idlib province face the injustice of jihadist organizations and violations by Islamic factions, in terms of applying ‘Islamic Sharia law’ to members of different religious communities. Islamic factions are clamping down on them and imposing levies ‘Jizya’ in order to force them to leave their homes to regime-controlled areas,” the SOHR report said.

According to the SOHR report, the jihadist rebels, primarily Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), are forcing Christian property owners to renew contracts at their officers, which often result in raising rent on their houses and shops….

The jihadist group has notified the remaining Christians in Idlib that their faction has ‘right’ to raise the prices on their properties and even confiscate them.

If a Christian landowner has left the jihadist-held areas, they are not allowed to retain their properties by hiring someone to represent them in their areas, the SOHR added.