forb-euThe European Parliament Intergroup on FoRB and RT (Intergroup on FoRB &RT) condemns the attack on Christian villages and the abduction of Syrian Christians in Syria. Activists have claimed that ISIS has massacred a number of Christians, burned dozens of houses, torched churches and abducted men, women and children in a series of dawn raids in Northeast Syria. The attack on the Christian villages in Syria follows the murder of 21 Copts in Libya by ISIS last week.

Attacks against religious or belief minorities in the region have been rising over the past few years. They are regularly targeted and their villages have been destroyed by extremists, forcing many religious or belief minorities to leave the region. In particular the Intergroup is extremely worried about the numerous attacks on Christian communities whose presence in the region goes back centuries. Peter van Dalen Co-President of the Intergroup said: The latest attack by ISIS is another example of the desperate situation religious or belief minorities, in particular Christians, face in the region. It is a sad day when people are being attacked because of their religion or belief.

The Intergroup calls on the EU to increase political pressure in order to protect religious or belief minorities in the region. High/Representative Mogherini should call for an international investigation into the crimes committed by ISIS against minorities in the region. The High Representative/Vice President should also raise the subject of religious or belief minorities with international partners.  EPWG on FoRB Co-President Dennis De Jong said ‘This attack underscores the need for the EU and its international partners to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of minorities in the region.’

Contact information:

Alfiaz Vaiya

Secretariat

European Parliament Working Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Tel: +32 (0) 471661381

Email: a.vaiya@religiousfreedom.eu

www.religiousfreedom.eu