Congressman cites plight of Syrian Christians

WASHINGTON (AP) — A California congressman says growing Islamic radicalism among rebel factions in Syria has left the country's minority Christians "at greatest risk."

In a House floor speech, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said almost one-fourth of Syria's two million Christians have fled the country since the fighting started.

Syrian Christians have mostly sided with President Bashar Assad or remained neutral in Syria's civil war, fearing for their fate if the rebels, increasingly dominated by Islamic extremists, come to power. Christians have accused radicals among the rebels of abusing residents and vandalizing churches after taking Christian towns.

Schiff said, "The international community must intensify its efforts to end this terrible war and also to protect Syria's Christians and to ensure the continued vitality of this 2,000-year-old community."

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