By David Dolan
International human rights groups are reporting a sharp increase in violent attacks upon Christian churches and pastors in both Syria and Iran. Middle East analysts say that the attacks in Syria have mainly been carried out by extremist Sunni Muslim groups that are believed to have strong connections to the Al Qaida terrorist network. The groups are apparently taking advantage of the collapse of law and order in Syria, where anti-government rebels supported by the larger Sunni Muslim world have taken control of many areas.
Human rights groups are warning of a potential mass slaughter of Syrian Christians if the Assad regime falls from power, especially since many Christians have been loyal backers of the besieged government. Christians currently comprise about ten per cent of the population, with most belonging either to the Greek Orthodox Church or the Melkite Catholic Church. The number of Christians in Shiite Muslim dominated Iran is not known, but numerous reports in recent years speak of many Muslims converting to the faith. Attacks against Coptic Christians and churches in Egypt have also been on the rise since Hosni Mubarak’s downfall last February.
'Arab Spring' becoming nightmare for Christians • WND (Aaron Klein)
As order breaks down in Syria, its Christians suffer the consequences • Left Foot Forward
Present Tribulation vs. Future Tribulation • BPB (Thomas Ice)
Syrian and Iranian Christians continue to face increasing persecution • Worthy News
Syria's Christians stand by Assad • CBS News