The fall of the Assad regime will make Syria’s Christians targets for two reasons: first, they benefited from where the Baath regime contradicted Sharia on the role of Christians in society. Secondly, and for the longer term, they are Christians, and they are marked for subjugation under Sharia.
What breaks out as Assad’s enemies divide the spoils of the fallen regime, settle scores, and vie for power will not be “tolerance” as we know it. “Syrian Christians Fleeing to Lebanon,” from CatholicCulture, March 8:
Amid reports that 1,000 Syrians are now fleeing the country daily for Lebanon, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Lebanon described the Church’s response.
“We have direct experience of Christian families who have fled to Syria [from] the violence or the oppression of the regime,” said Father Paul Karam. “There are families who have relatives in Lebanon who have fled here and want to change their lives, looking for work. The Church’s response in Lebanon was the hospitality and care of these people: we host them in parishes, provide food and clothing, we assist them at an economic level and insert them into the social fabric.”
“As a Church we reiterate that we are against violence,” he added. “We want to promote peace and encourage dialogue. As for the Christians, the danger that looms is a scenario like Iraq, where Christians are forced to flee the country. The risk is that a dictatorial regime is replaced with an Islamist type which imposes the Sharia.”