BEIRUT: A group of Syrian Christian intellectuals have condemned church support for the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The statement, which was issued Wednesday, was signed by 33 prominent activists, artists and writers and intellectuals including Karim Jalloul, Marwan Khouri and Samir Matar.
The statement accused the 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 said the regime’s tactics of shelling civilians, use of missiles and barrel bombs, chemical weapons and siege tactics “contradict the teachings of Christianity.”
“Christians were oppressed under Assad’s rule, just like all other Syrians,” it said.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 21, 2014, on page 8.