About two-thirds of Syria’s Christians have fled the country in the past decade of conflict in the country, according to data from an Assyrian political party.
Christians made up eight to ten percent of Syria’s population before the start of the civil war in 2011. Today that number has decreased to three percent, the Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO) told Rudaw. The party is close to the Kurdish autonomous administration in northeast Syria (Rojava).
The number of Christians in the Kurdish-populated Jazira region in the very northeast of the country has decreased from 150,000 to around 55,000.
The data was confirmed by other Christian parties in Rojava. ADO obtained figures about Christians in regime-held areas from the Vatican.
Syria’s Christians helped to defeat the Islamic State group (ISIS). The Syriac Military Council is part of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and is a partner force of the global coalition against ISIS.
Politically, Syrian Christians, mostly Syriacs and Assyrians, are divided into three main parties. ADO is the oldest of them, operating since 1957. The Assyrian Democratic Party (ADP) is also close to the Rojava authorities and the Syriac Union Party (SUP) is close to the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition.
ADO and SUP have engaged in unity talks recently, hoping to strengthen their influence in the country.
“The talks which began a few months ago between Syriac and Assyrian parties continue. We have discussed a number of significant issues… We are working on finding a mechanism to increase coordination between parties,” Gabriel Mushe, head of relations office for the ADO, told Rudaw on Monday.
Henna Sewime, a leadership member of the SUP, told Rudaw that they have discussed three main things during their talks: unity of Christians, a united Syria in the future, and the recognition of Christians in the future constitution of the country.