“Christians are being torn from our roots,” he said. “[ISIS militants] are proud of it. They are targeting the Christians and they are publicizing it. The regime cannot protect us.”
Doushi said he was forced to leave Ras al-Ayn after Islamist fighters entered his home town late last year and targeted the homes and businesses of Christians. The 61-year-old’s new, temporary home, housing seven members of his extended family, is St. Gabriel’s monastery in the mountain village of Ajaltoun, 12 miles north of Beirut.
Many in the monastery say they are pinning their hopes on visas to Europe, citing doubts that there will ever be a day that Syria can offer security to its minorities, at least in rebel-held areas.
“The Christians are never going back,” said Johnny Chamoun, 42, also from Ras al-Ayn, who works at the monastery, coordinating assistance for Syrian Christian refugees.