|Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch. Credit: Weenson Oo/picture-u.net.|
.- Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch has said that the success of Syrian rebels could worsen the plight of Christians because of the extreme Islamist elements among the rebel forces.
“The extremists are against even the normal rebel opposition,” he said Oct. 16, according to the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph. “This is an issue for Muslims as well as Christians. I am not afraid of Islam, I am just afraid of chaos, which will allow these groups to play a very destructive role.”
The Patriarch of Antioch discussed the Syrian situation in an address to more than 300 benefactors of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need at an event last week at London’s Westminster Cathedral.
On Oct. 15 Syrian extremists planted two bombs at the old Cathedral of Constantine and Helena in Yabroud, a city 50 miles north of Damascus.
“It was a church before Christianity, it was a temple of Jupiter and converted, an old beautiful church,” said Patriarch Gregorios.
One of the bombs had been planted in the confessional. Both were discovered and disarmed. The attempted attack is part of the continuing civil war that has afflicted Syria since March 2011.
The conflict has killed over 110,000 people and has forced millions to flee their homes. At least 450,000 Christians have left the country or are internally displaced, including the patriarch’s family on his father’s side.
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