VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(By Sarah Lynch USA Today) CAIRO — As the fate of more than 250 Christians abducted by the Islamic State in Syria remains unknown, frightened fellow Christians are fleeing in search of a safe haven in a region known for persecuting them.

“With all this hatred against Christians — I don’t know, I’m so afraid,” said Osama Edward, founder of the Sweden-based Assyrian Human Rights Network. “I feel the whole religion is threatened.”

More than 1,300 Christian families fled their homes in Syria this week after the Islamic State kidnapped Assyrian Christians from four villages. Now, many of those families are seeking refuge at a cathedral and a church in the nearby city of Al-Hasakah while others have gone to Al-Qamishli, both in the far northeastern corner of Syria, Edward said.

Christians and Muslims alike have suffered widespread instability since the Arab Spring movement began toppling longtime autocratic regimes in…

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