Christian Elected to Head Syrian Parliament for First Time In Decades

Oct 9th, 2017 | By | Category: News Posts

Hammudeh Sabbagh

On September 28, A Christian legislator was elected speaker of parliament in Syria, a predominantly Muslim country, for the first time in decades.

According to state media, Hammudeh Sabbagh, a 58-year-old Syriac Orthodox Christian, graduate in law and member of President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party from Hasakeh province, won 193 votes out of 252 cast.

Sabbagh is the first Christian to hold the post since Fares el-Khoury who served multiple terms before and after the French mandate of 1920-1946.

Before the 2011 and the start of the Syrian civil war, 11 different Christian denominations made up about five percent of the population.

Celebrating Christmas with Christian children who escaped the Islamic State

However, today only about half of Syria’s 1.5 million Christians remain in Syria, according to Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo.

According to AFP, “Christians have tried largely to keep their distance from the conflict, in which they have been targeted by Islamist rebel groups while the regime portrays itself as the secular defender of minorities.

The Islamic State jihadist group, for its part, has carried out mass kidnappings of Christians and destroyed their churches.”

This would never happen in a country like Saudi Arabia where their citizens are forced to be Muslim.

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