Syria: Christians increasingly vulnerable to fraudulent property confiscation
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Christians from the north-eastern region of war-torn Syria have reportedly become increasingly susceptible to fraudulent property confiscations at the hands of both Syria’s dictator Bashar al-Assad and the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
Between 300,000 to 900,000 Christians were forced to leave Syria amid the ferocity and longevity of the civil war which broke out in 2011; prior to the war, Christians made up 10-12 percent of the majority Muslim population. Syria’s largest Christian denomination is the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, followed by the Greek Catholic Church, then by Oriental Orthodox Churches like Syriac Orthodox Church and Armenian Apostolic Church, and by the Assyrian Church of the East and Chaldean Catholic Church.
According to the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO), which serves Christian Assyrian, Syrian, and Chaldean populations in Syria, both those that remain – but especially those who left – have reported their property is being taken from them under false pretenses, ICC reports.
“Evidently, Christians who have emigrated from Syria in recent years, amidst the chaos of ongoing armed conflict, are particularly vulnerable to these fraudulent property seizures because they are not as easily aware of fraud attempts and are not well positioned to fight against them,” ICC explained in its report on the matter.
“According to ADO, roughly 20,000 of the formerly 22,000 Syriac Assyrians in the country have emigrated. Some mechanisms, such as a Committee for the Protection of Syriac, Assyrian, and Armenian Absentee Properties in the AANES, seek to protect Christian property in Syria, but these mechanisms are too weak and have simply proven ineffective at stopping the recent rise in illegal property confiscations and expropriations,” ICC said.
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