Skip to Content

St Elijah Monastry south of Mosul, St Paul

‘We sent you St Paul and you sent us terrorists’

It seems someone in the US State Department forgot to tell a group of Syriac Orthodox Christian refugees in The United States that they are supposed to see the liberation of East Aleppo as a tragedy.

Published: January 6, 2017, 1:12 pm

    Read more

    Before the conflict, approximately 1.1 million Syrians, or 5.2 percent of the population, were Christians. The majority—at least 700 000 — have now fled.

    Journalist and Middle-East political analyst, Paul Gadalla, talked to Syrian and Iraqi Christian refugees in the US at St Mark’s Syriac Orthodox Church in Teaneck, NJ, for Middle East Eye.

    “We’re so excited about what’s happening in Aleppo,” said one parishioner after he wished the bishop a Merry Christmas. The church was abuzz with talks of the battle for Aleppo coming to a close. “Of course we’re happy for the victory [of Syrian and Russian forces] in Aleppo. And now we pray for the city’s kidnapped bishops to be released [by the US-backed terrorists],” said Bishop Kawak.

    Along with other ethnic and religious minorities, they have bore the brunt of the Islamic State group’s violent takeover of vast swathes of territory in Syria.

    Despite being a vulnerable population that has suffered immensely in the regional conflict, Christians in the Middle East are finding it difficult to seek asylum in the US.

    The most cynical obstacle placed in the path of Christian asylum seekers by the Obama Administration, says Paul, has been to treat the special religious tax or “Jizya” that all Christians must pay or be beheaded if they’re passing through ISIS or al-Qaeda territory as though these Christians were giving “material support to a terrorist entity” of their own free will.

    So those Christians who have paid the tax get sent back to Syria. Thus it’s best for Syrian Christians who have had to pay the tax to keep from being killed to seek asylum in Europe or Canada instead.

    As one embittered Syrian Christian told a BBC cameraman: “We sent you St. Paul 2 000 years ago to take away the darkness; and you sent us terrorists to kill us.”

    karin.bredenkamp@freewestmedia.com

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Americas

    Battle of Berkeley: Patriots and Antifa in Weimar-style clashes

    America is increasingly resembling 1920s Germany (the so-called Weimar Republic) as physical fights erupt between pro- and anti-Trump supporters.

    Democrat globalist banker is now shaping Trump policy

    WashingtonGary Cohn, a Democrat and dyslexic former Goldman Sachs banker, is currently running the White House with president Trump's blessing, Reuters reported.

    Will China, North Korea back down after Trump’s threats?

    WashingtonDonald Trump's strategy behind the latest US belligerent moves to frighten the Chinese into abandoning North Korea might not be the greatest idea.

    Trump allowing twice as many Syrian refugees as Obama

    WashingtonDuring his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump called Syrian refugees a “great Trojan horse” but his administration has allowed them into the US in larger numbers than did President Barack Obama.

    American patriots who voted against war abandon Trump

    WashingtonStunned prominent American patriotic writers and bloggers have turned on the president in which they had put their trust.

    Wikileaks: ‘Marble’ is proof that CIA disguises hacks as Russian

    The Vault 7 release by WikiLeaks contains a series of documents, named "Marble", detailing how CIA hacking tactics misdirect forensic investigators from attributing viruses, trojans and attacks.

    Israeli arrested in connection with anti-Jewish bomb threats

    An Israeli-American teenager was arrested in Israel by the FBI for being behind a flood of false anti-Semitic bomb threats.

    ‘Delusional’ report on Russian hacking in Ukraine

    The cyber-security company Crowdstrike has claimed that "Russia" hacked artillery units of the Ukrainian army, but the claim is completely baseless and false. The Crowdstrike report, released in December, asserted that the hack into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulted in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war against the Donbass.

    US Secretary of State Tillerson to skip NATO meeting and visit Russia instead

    WashingtonWhile NATO is continuing to drag its manpower to Russia's western borders, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is heading to Russia instead.

    Monsanto, EPA colluded to kill cancer findings

    WashingtonThe chemical powerhouse Monsanto's controversial herbicide, Roundup is carcinogenic, court documents revealed.

    Go to archive