(Vatican Radio) The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo in Syria, Antoine Audo says he believes the so-called Islamic State fighters are seeking to push Christians out of Syria and spread terror everywhere. He also warned that if the war continues, as seems likely, that gradually over the coming months and years, all Syria’s Christians will leave their homeland. Bishop Audo was reacting to the news of the abduction of dozens of Christians including women and children from the Syrian town of Qaryatain after the ISIS militants seized control of it earlier this week. The Christians were among a total of 230 residents in the town who were kidnapped by the militants. Bishop Audo spoke to Susy Hodges.
Listen to the interview with Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo who is also President of Caritas Syria:
Bishop Audo said the latest abductions from the town of Qaryatain are part of a strategy by the so-called Islamic State group to show their power and military dominance and “spread terror everywhere.” He says that a possible second objective of these abductions is to try to obtain ransoms for the release of the Christians. Bishop Audo said he believes that the Islamic militants want to destroy the Christian communities in Syria, by destroying their confidence and love for their country. The militants’ goal, he said, is to drive the Christians out and “push them to emigrate.”
Asked how optimistic he is about the future of Syria’s Christian community, Bishop Audo said he feared for its long-term future unless peace returns. “If the war continues, as seems likely………..all the Christians will leave Syria,” he warned.
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