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Tue 28 Aug 2012 10:00 AM

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Christian archbishop flees Syria - report

Fides reports that Melchite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo fled to Lebanon

Christian archbishop flees Syria - report
Christians make up around 10 percent of the population(AFP/Getty Images).

A Christian archbishop fled Syria after his offices were ransacked last week amid fighting between rebels and government forces in the country's biggest city Aleppo, Catholic news agency Fides said on Monday.

The Melchite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, and a number of priests fled to Lebanon after the attack on Thursday, Fides said.

The Melchite Greek Catholic Church is a community of Middle Eastern Christians who are in full communion with Rome.

Fides said "unidentified groups who want to feed a religious war and drag the Syrian population into sectarian conflicts" attacked the Christian area in the old quarter of Aleppo.

A Byzantine Christian museum and an office of the Maronite Christian faith were also damaged, the report said.

There are several Christian groups in Syria, many of which have been in the region since pre-Islamic times.

Christians make up around 10 percent of the population and many have remained loyal to President Bashar al-Assad - a member of the minority Alawite faith, an off-shoot of Shi'ite Islam - fearing that the majority Sunni Muslims would trample on religious rights if they took power.

However some senior members of the opposition are also Christians.

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Daria 8 years ago

"The Syrian regime and the Free Syrian Army should be excluded from any solution in Syria. They have committed enough crimes to disqualify them forever, both are ruthless thugs. When Saudi Arabia refers to its unarmed opponents as terrorists, Western governments and media react with respect and belief. And when the corrupt Syrian regime does the same with respect to its armed opponents, Western governments and media mock the reference. Consistency. "

Murad 8 years ago

The opposition in Syria is using all kinds of weapons, and killing people. Do you expect the Syrian army to sit and watch? it is the duty of the Syrian army to protect the civilians and the country.

People of Palestine use stones against the Israeli forces, and the world says its the right of Israel to defend itself. Why in Syria it is legitimate for the opposition to kill using heavy weapons?

Andy 8 years ago

Karma will catch up with this ruthless killing regime. The old saying goes "Like father like son". You can put an lion in a circus but you never know when he will turn on you and as we have seen in Syria and in circus events is that a lion will always be an animal and animals will turn in you some day.