Nearly one-third of Syria’s native Christians have fled their homes during the Syrian civil war, according to Syrian Christian leader Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Laham.
He said that more than 450,000 Christians out of an estimated 1.75 million have been displaced or have left the country since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011.
Patriarch Gregorios, who has been criticized for supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said the international community needs to do more to block the flow of weapons into Syria. “We have to have campaign together—no more weapons, no more violence, go together to a better new vision of life,” he said.
Many Christians support President Bashar al-Assad out of fear that if he is overthrown and replaced by Islamists, they will face greater persecution, especially from the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra terrorist organization.