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Assyrian MP Blasts US for Not Promoting Christianity At Schools, Praises Iran's Freedom of Religion
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Yonatan Betkelia, Assyrian member of the Iranian Parliament.
TEHRAN -- A senior Assyrian lawmaker blasted the US human rights report on Iran, saying the US whose officials claim to be faithful Christians doesn't allow children to become familiar with Gospel at school, while Christian children in Islamic Iran are taught Gospel. "The behavior of the western rulers isn't at all related to Christianity and I don't assume them as Christians and I am ashamed that such inhumane acts are being conducted across the world under the name of Christianity," Yonatan Betkelia told FNA on Monday. He also rapped the US officials for preventing the teaching of the Gospel at schools while they introduce themselves as faithful Christians, and said this is while Christian children in Iran are taught Gospel at schools. Yonatan Betkelia also said that while the US and other western statesmen show themselves as staunch supporters of human rights, they keep mum about the massacre of Christians in Iraq and Syria by the terrorists, and rather support insurgent groups in these countries. In relevant remarks early February, Syria's top Christian leaders called on the US to stop supporting militants as conditions continue to worsen for the religious minority in the crisis-hit Arab country. Leaders of five Christian denominations called on the US government to change its policies and stop calling the militants "freedom fighters." They also urged Washington to put pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to stop sending foreign militants into Syria. The group comprised of Reverend Adeeb Awad, vice moderator of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, Bishop Elias Toumeh, representative of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus. They were joined by Reverend Riad Jarjour, Presbyterian pastor from Homs, and Bishop Dionysius Jean Kawak, Metropolitan of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Stories by the five top leaders in the American Time magazine highlighted the horrors that Christians are facing in Syria amid the worsening crimes of the militants in rebel-held areas. The bishops' accounts are similar to other stories of violence against Syrian Christians during the conflict which has claimed at least 130,000 lives over the past three years. Syria is home to some 1.8 million Christians, who account for about 10 percent of the country's population. The religious minority has been subjected to numerous attacks by extremist groups since the outbreak of violence in the country in March 2011.

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