Towns and villages in Syria that have been home to Christians for hundreds of years are being steadily emptied by sectarian violence and targeted kidnappings.
(telegraph) – Tens of thousands Syriac Christians – members of the oldest Christian community in the world – have fled their ancestral provinces of Deir al-Zour and Hasakah in northeastern Syria, residents have said.
“It breaks my heart to think how our long history is being uprooted,” said Ishow Goriye, the head of a Syriac Christian political Hasakah.
Mr Goriye, told The Daily Telegraph how, over the past two years he has watched as Christian families from Hasakah pack their possessions on the rooftops of their vehicles and flee their homes “with little plan to come back”.
Conflict in the area, desperate economic conditions, lawlessness, and persecution by rebel groups born from the perception that Christians support the regime, remain the main reasons for why Christian families are fleeing the area.
The growing presence of radical jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda, has also seen Christians targeted.