A regional leader in the Greek Orthodox Church is leery of the U.S. approach to Syria, citing concerns of the aftermath for Syrian Christians.
Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos visited All Saints Greek Orthodox church in Peoria on Thursday. He is the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis in Chicago which oversees parishes in six states, including Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
The bishop has been nationally recognized for his human rights efforts, including in the U.S. official recognition of genocide by ISIS against Christians in Syria and Iraq.
Several U.S. lawmakers have been outspoken about the desire to remove Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad from office, following chemical attacks on Syrian civilians earlier this month. Bishop Demetrios worries if Assad is removed, his departure would give ISIS a greater hold on the country where the Christian minority already suffers.
“I believe that under the Assad regime the orthodox churches, the Christian community faired better and they will tell you that themselves,” he said. “Because once that regime is gone what will come in? Isis. And that will be complete devastation of the Christian minority in that part of the world.”
The bishop is also critical of the United Nations for what he calls a lack of effort to stop genocide against Christians in the Middle East.