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Parliamentary questions
23 July 2012
E-007370/2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 117
Zbigniew Ziobro (EFD) and Jacek Włosowicz (EFD)

 Subject: VP/HR — Situation of Christians in Syria
 Answer(s) 

The last few months have seen an escalation in brutal violence directed against Syria's Christian communities. More than 9 000 Christians from the town of al‑Qusayr were forced to abandon their homes after a local leader of the armed opposition issued them with an ultimatum. According to media reports, an armed group then broke into and desecrated the Greek Catholic Church of Saint Elias. The Vatican is also concerned by the fate of Syria’s Christians, who make up more than 10 % of the country's population, and it has released information on the destruction and looting of churches in Um al‑Zennar and Bustan al‑Diwan (Homs) and the expulsion of more than 10 000 Christian inhabitants from the city of Homs. During a counterattack carried out by government forces, more than 63 Christians were used as human shields by the rebels.

Another cause for concern are the ever more frequent reports of religiously motivated attacks carried out by units of increasingly radicalised Islamic rebels.

1. What steps is the European External Action Service taking to assist Christians in Syria?

2. Has the issue of freedom of religion and respect for Christian religious communities in Syria been raised during meetings with representatives of the Syrian opposition?

3. How does the Vice‑President/High Representative assess the increasingly frequent reports concerning the radicalisation of the Islamic opposition and religiously motivated attacks on Christian places of worship and believers themselves?

4. Does the EEAS intend to make the provision of aid for the Syrian opposition conditional upon gaining assurances that Christians and their rights will be protected under a new Syrian Government?

Original language of question: PLOJ C 269 E, 18/09/2013
Last updated: 14 August 2012Legal notice