http://www.citizengo.org/en/pr/32890-syrian-ceasefire-talks-must-include-christian-representatives?dr=4065217::91a239fd469125ce92d8895009a40845&utm_source=email&mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRohv6jKZKXonjHpfsX57%2BsoWK6xgYkz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMSsBmN6%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7nFK81v3swQWxTjFebruary 20th UPDATE: The first meeting of the task force that was created to discuss a cease-fire in Syria has been canceled. The negotiating parties, which did not include Christian representatives from Syria, did not meet in Geneva as planned on Friday. "I cannot realistically call new Geneva talks for 25th of February," said Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy to Syria. It's now more important than ever that Christian and minority religious voices are represented at the bargaining table!
The United Nations is helping to facilitate ceasefire talks between the Syrian government led by Bashar Al-Assad and Syrian opposition groups, who have been engaged in a bloody and destructive civil war since 2011. The ceasefire talks began on February 1, but were canceled on February 3 and rescheduled for the end of the month.
Of grave concern, however, is that NO Christian Syrian representatives have been invited to the ceasefire negotiations. Neither the government nor the opposition can speak for the Christians of Syria. Religious minorities should not be excluded from negotiations over the future of Syria simply because they are not armed belligerents.
Of the nearly two million Christians living in Syria prior to the civil war, most have been subjected to extermination campaigns at the hands of ISIS and other radical Islamist militias--less than one half now remain in Syria. While Christians lived in relative safety under the Assad regime, a peace agreement that does not represent Syrian Christians may result in a political arrangement that is hostile to minority religious groups, such as Christians.
There is no element of the opposition genuinely committed to the toleration of Christian presence in Syria. If Assad is imprudently replaced by some constellation of opposition forces, there will be no Christian presence in Syria at all. Therefore, the peace talks MUST include minority religious representation, including from legitimate Syrian Christian leaders.
Sign the petition asking Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to include Christian representatives in the Syrian ceasefire talks!
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