Join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in welcoming UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres to discuss the unprecedented Syrian displacement and humanitarian crisis and how the U.S. government, international partners, and faith communities can respond.
Dr. Robert P. George, Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Chairman, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Antόnio Guterres, Remarks
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Eric P. Schwartz, Moderator
Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
The ongoing conflict in Syria now has entered its fifth year, with reports of both the Assad regime and non-state actors, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), committing severe religious freedom violations and other abuses. This conflict has turned Syria into the world’s largest producer of displaced persons, with more than half of its pre-conflict population having fled their homes. Syrians of every religious denomination comprise the country’s more than 4 million UNHCR registered refugees and 7.6 million IDPs. Because of the devastating conditions in Syria and the increasing difficulties facing Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, hundreds of thousands risk their lives by taking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe.