Rights Group: Assad Regime Destroyed Most of Syria Churches
The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that attacks by the Assad regime have destroyed 61 percent of Christian places of worship in Syria since the start of the revolution in March 2011.
In a report issued on Thursday under the tile ‘targeting places of worship in Syria is a threat to world heritage,’ the monitoring group said that the “targeting of Christian places of worship is one of the many ways thorough which the Assad regime sought to intimidate and displace the Christian minority in Syria."
The report stressed that the Assad regime bears “primary responsibility for the destruction, displacement and collapse of the Syrian state at various levels,” citing the regime’s deliberate attacks on Christian churches dating back to the first and fifth centuries AD.
The Network said it recorded at least 124 attacks on places of worship in Syria from March 2011 to September 2019, adding that in addition to shelling, regime forces commandeered many places of worship for military use.
According to the report, regime forces were responsible for 75 attacks, ISIS for 10 attacks, HTS for two attacks, while 37 attacks were committed by unidentified groups.
SNHR’s director, Fadel Abdel Ghani, said that "the Assad regime is suppressing and terrorizing anyone who demand political change and reform regardless of their religion or ethnicity, which led to the destruction of Syria's heritage and the displacement of its minorities." Abdel Ghani noted that absent a transition towards democracy and respect for human rights, restoration of stability to Syria will be impossible.
The Network called on the UN Security Council and the international community to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court and hold all those involved in crimes and violations accountable. It also called for the impositions of sanctions against the regime and Iran as well as the inclusion of foreign and sectarian militias fighting alongside the Assad regime on the UN terrorism list. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)