Syria: Christians greatest victims of bloodshed, Chacour

Arab Spring betrayed, danger of Sharia, says bishop

(ANSAmed) - Haifa, 28 May - (By Nina Fabrizio) - Archbishop Elias Chacour, head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Israel, said Christians had suffered the greatest bloodshed since the Arab Spring which in his view had failed. "Arab Spring is a mistaken definition. In Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and now in Syria we are witnessing a wave of bloodshed, and we will not see a garden grow from this socalled spring," he warned. Across the Arab world and in the Middle East, he said "many are dying, but those who are losing the most are Christians". He told journalists the hopes of the people who rose up against the regimes have been betrayed by the "danger" imposed by Sharia, Islamic law. Head of the largest Christian community in Israel - 80,000 faithful out of a total 150,000 Christians - expressed his concern particularly for Christians being forced to flee the civil war in Syria. Chacour compared the situation to Iraq after the US "invasion". "We do not have precise estimates on how many have been forced to flee Syria for Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey but once there were two million Christians in the country and 160 small Christian villages that are now completely empty". "I wonder what the west is doing by failing to intervene. The socalled Arab Spring is the biggest change in the history of Islam because first it was about the struggle for power in authoritarian regimes and now the people are taking action". Expectations have been betrayed he said. "We were not happy with the totalitarian regimes, but we are even less so today because of the risk of Sharia," he said. If imposed he said it would be extremely bad and "we don't know what would happen in the long term". Chacour said he had seen the bishop of Damascus "crying lika a baby" over the departure of Christians who were forced to flee the country in "miserable conditions" without food or water. (ANSAmed).

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