A group of Syrian Christian intellectuals have issued a statement, condemning church support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Daily Star (Lebanese) website reports today (February 22, 2014).
The statement -- which was issued on February 19 -- was signed by 33 prominent activists, artists and writers, and intellectuals including Karim Jalloul, Marwan Khouri, and Samir Matar.
It accused the Assad regime of exploiting religious minorities and using sectarianism as a tool to cement control, rejecting what it said was church authorities' incorrect promotion of Assad as a protector of minorities.
"The Assad regime did not distinguish between those who rebelled against his tyranny and repression; he crushed them all," the statement read. It added that the regime's tactics of shelling civilians, use of missiles and barrel bombs, chemical weapons, and siege tactics "contradict the teachings of Christianity."