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To regain trust between religious communities is not impossible in Syria

After the liberation of Raqqa in 2017, the Religious Affairs Foundation held its first Islamic forum in the Raqqa. The main goal of the forum was to discuss the role of Islam that ISIS misinterpreted and the situation of other religious minorities, particularly that of Christians was also addressed.

The conference — titled, “The eternal message of Islam: concepts and challenges” — attracted 140 representatives of religious institutions from the various northern and eastern parts of Syria, members of the Raqqa Civil Council, Raqqa tribal elders, representatives of the Syrian Democratic Forces and officials at the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava).

The role of religious minorities, including Christians was also discussed along with women’s rights. Another aim of the conference was to counter extremist ideas that were scattered among younger generations during the control of ISIS. Participants supported the initiative proposing to disseminating peace and charity in mosques and advance the status of women. 

Infringements committed by the terrorist organization held people in fear who were often coerced to abandon their faith.

In many cases ISIS fighters broke even the Sharia law by forcing women to marry different men on the same day which is in contrary to the Iddah rule that Muslim widows are required to abide by.

According to International Christian Concern, while this is a positive step forward, the healing after the genocide of ISIS may take much longer and this is uncertain whethet it is enough for Christians to feel comfortable in their country. 

Photo: Chapel of Saint Paul in Damascus (Pixabay)


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