Wednesday, October 16, 2013

50,000 Christians in Syria Request Russian Citizenship

Russian original, from the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, here.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has received through diplomatic channels an application from the Syrian Christians from the region of Qalamoun in the province of Damascus, home to the world-famous Christian holy places in Syria. We publish here an annotated translation from the Arabic:

"We, the Christians of Qalamoun, living in Seidnaya, Maarat Seidnaya, Maloula, and Marouna find ourselves, for the first time since the birth of Christ, under the threat of expulsion from our land. We prefer death to wandering in refugee camps. Therefore, we shall defend our homeland, honor and faith and shall not leave the land upon which Christ walked.

The Christians of Qalamoun believe that the goal of the terrorists, who are supported by the West, is the elimination of our native presence by the vilest means, including the murder of ordinary people. 

We see Russia as a powerful force for peace and stability throughout the world. Russia holds a firm line in defense of Syria, her people and her territorial integrity. We have also always felt the support of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Over the centuries, the Christians of the East have known that no one cares about their interests as much as Russia. In times of trial, Russia has always been with us politically, economically, in humanitarian terms, and other ways. 

Since Syrian law allows the possession of dual citizenship, we have chosen to apply for citizenship of the Russian Federation, if it is possible. Receiving it would be an honor for any Syrian Christian who wishes to obtain it. We will be under Russia's protection if we come under the threat of physical destruction from the terrorists. Out of around fifty thousand people-- doctors, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs-- who are prepared to sign this appeal, none wants to leave his home. We have everything needed; we are not asking for money.

Our appeal does not mean that we doubt the Syrian army and the government. However, we are frightened by the West's plotting and the hate speech of the fanatics who are waging a brutal war against our country. What happened in Maloula was a lesson for us.

With deep respect for Russia and her leadership and for the Russian Orthodox Church, 

The Christians of the regions of Seidnaya, Maarat Seidnaya, Maaloula, and Marouna. 

October 3, 2013"

The text was signed by representatives of families who have applied for Russian citizenship.

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