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Persecution of Christians and the diminishing of Christian communities in the Muslim world, particularly in Syria

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 13275 | 04 July 2013

Ms Theodora BAKOYANNIS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Tamerlan AGUZAROV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Jean-Charles ALLAVENA, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr José Manuel BARREIRO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr José María BENEYTO, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Fernand BODEN, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Ms Katalin CSÖBÖR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Roel DESEYN, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Vyacheslav FETISOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Axel E. FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Marie-Louise FORT, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernard FOURNIER, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Béatrice FRESKO-ROLFO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Erich Georg FRITZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Iryna GERASHCHENKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Nadezda GERASIMOVA, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria GIANNAKAKI, Greece, NR ; Ms Svetlana GORYACHEVA, Russian Federation, SOC ; Ms Sylvi GRAHAM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Andreas GROSS, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Gergely GULYÁS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Iwona GUZOWSKA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Norbert HAUPERT, Luxembourg, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Joachim HÖRSTER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Olena KONDRATIUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr László KOSZORÚS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Tiny KOX, Netherlands, UEL ; Ms Stella KYRIAKIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Ms Athina KYRIAKIDOU, Cyprus, SOC ; Mr George LOUKAIDES, Cyprus, UEL ; Mr Anvar MAKHMUTOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Thierry MARIANI, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Epameinondas MARIAS, Greece, EDG ; Mr José MENDES BOTA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Pasquale NESSA, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Nicos NICOLAIDES, Cyprus, SOC ; Mr Mikael OSCARSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS, Greece, UEL ; Mr Ivan POPESCU, Ukraine, SOC ; Mr Gabino PUCHE, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Alexey PUSHKOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Elżbieta RADZISZEWSKA, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Frédéric REISS, France, EPP/CD ; Mr François ROCHEBLOINE, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr André SCHNEIDER, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Elisabeth SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Yury SHAMKOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Robert SHLEGEL, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Alexander SIDYAKIN, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Spyridon TALIADOUROS, Greece, EPP/CD ; Mr Evgeny TARLO, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Petros TATSOPOULOS, Greece, UEL ; Mr Alexander TER-AVANESOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Konstantinos TRIANTAFYLLOS, Greece, SOC ; Ms Theodora TZAKRI, Greece, SOC ; Mr Ilyas UMAKHANOV, Russian Federation, EDG ; Mr Øyvind VAKSDAL, Norway, EDG ; Ms Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Robert WALTER, United Kingdom, EDG ; Ms Karin S. WOLDSETH, Norway, EDG ; Ms Marie-Jo ZIMMERMANN, France, EPP/CD

The rise to power of religiously inclined political forces following the so-called “Arab Spring”, the advent of terrorism and religious fundamentalism, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the unresolved Palestinian issue have created an unfavourable new scenery for Christians in the Middle East and beyond.

The situation is particularly grave in Syria. The civil war has led to the loss of tens of thousands of human lives, with Christians becoming the victims of persecution and atrocities from all sides, especially from those who claim liberty and civil rights as the main cause for their struggle.

In its Resolution (2012) 1878, the Parliamentary Assembly emphasizes that any new power in Syria must guarantee the same tolerance vis-à-vis Christians.

Developments there have, nevertheless, exceeded even the worst of fears: murders, internally displaced Christians, sexual assaults, destruction of churches, murders and kidnappings of priests.

An outrageous manifestation of the above was the kidnapping by Syrian armed militants of two Orthodox Bishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yaziji, head of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Yuhanna Ibrahim, head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, on 22 April 2013.

Considering that Syria is just the latest of developments leading to the diminishing of Christian communities in large parts of the Muslim world, it is high time for the Assembly to take action by:

- a compilation of all available data so that members get a clear picture of the situation and its tragic dimensions;

- a comprehensive proposal, to be introduced as policy recommendations, as a response to the gravity of the situation by all member States.