CNS News 
July 12, 2013
Leaders of Britain’s largest churches are calling for a special focus this weekend on the civil war in Syria, as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby encourages people to ask their members of parliament “to think very carefully about the wisdom” of introducing more weapons into the conflict.
Growing awareness of the particular difficulties faced by Christians in the civil war comes amid ongoing debate in Western countries about arming anti-Assad rebels. Some Arab Gulf states already have been doing so for more than a year, while the regime is supported by Russia, Iran and its Hezbollah ally in Lebanon.
Welby, the titular head of the world’s Anglican (Episcopalian) church, made the comment at a meeting hosted by the religious freedom advocacy group Open Doors U.K. and Ireland, which launched a petition and special report highlighting the plight of Syria’s Christian minority.
“It’s absolutely clear that Christians in Syria are being persecuted,” he said. “We know for example that in many areas of Aleppo – historic Christian areas since the first century – people are being chased out in large numbers.