Damascus, Syria, Mar 27, 2012 / 03:04 am
Almost all Christians in the conflict-torn Syrian city of Homs have fled violence and persecution, amid reports that their homes have been attacked and seized by “fanatics” with links to al-Qaida.
With ninety percent of Christians having reportedly left their homes, the violence is driving fears that Syria could become a “second Iraq” with church attacks, kidnappings and forced expulsions of believers.
The exodus of 50,000 or more Christians has taken place largely in the past six weeks. It is part of al-Qaida-linked militant Islamic groups’ “ongoing ethnic cleansing” of Christians, according to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Homs has been home to one of Syria’s largest Christian populations and Church sources say that the faithful have borne the brunt of the violence. They have escaped to villages, many of which are in mountains 30 miles outside the city.