Christian Syrian famlies seek asylum in Lebanon
As cities of Damascus and Aleppo entered into the confrontation where the Christians demographic weight is at its most, the number of Syrian Christian families displaced to Lebanon is increasing significantly.
Refugees have been distributed along the extended length of the coastline between Antelias and Byblos area where residents are predominantly Christian.
George fled with his family from Homs to Lebanon four days ago after the Syrian army destroyed their home as a result of a violent artillery bombardment, causing the death of his wife and his mother-in-law.
“We were displaced because the government forces have fired artillery at our home, as a result my wife and my mother were killed. I managed to save the rest of my family and we succeeded to flee Homs for Damascus in a six-day journey until we reached Lebanon,” George said.
“We decided to evacuate out of fear. We feared to face the same destiny of my mother and my grandmother. The rebels helped us to evacuate while the regime forces continued shelling displaced people,” George’s son, Nagib said.
Despite the fear of ecclesiastical authorities regarding the situation of Christians in Syria, George does not fear the revenge of the opposition. In his opinion the Free Syria army saved him and his family from the regime's criminality.
In order to evacuate the city of Homs, George endured a 10-day journey of hardship in order to reach Lebanon.
The number of Christian families displaced to Lebanon has reached 300. This number was confirmed by Abu Joseph, the head of the "Christian gathering” in Lebanon, a group founded in Damascus around six months ago to protect the Christians.
“As Christians, we gathered ourselves, elite and businessmen to establish the “Christians gathering. “ We cooperated with some Lebanese activities to provide shelter and food to the displaced people. For this purpose I met up with several sides of the Syrian opposition, including some of the national council, in which some are Islamists,” Abu Joseph said.
Fleeing violence in Syria, the Syrian refugees found themselves facing other types of challenges related to the economic and security situation in Lebanon.
Most Syrian refugees have resorted to the areas considered in opposition to the Syrian regime, especially in the North and some of the Bekaa villages, whilst other regions in the south, considered pro-Syrian regime have not received such a great influx of people. This geographical distribution of the Syrian refugees reflects the Lebanese political divide regarding the issue.