French NGO 'Christians of the Orient' and its ties with the Assad regime

By , Elie Guckert and Frank Andrews

French association SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOS Christians of the Orient) is a self-declared "apolitical" not-for-profit NGO, which sends volunteers and staff across the Middle East with the stated aim of supporting the region’s persecuted Christians, notably in Syria. But, as this investigation for Mediapart reveals, its links with the French far-right and its close relations with bodies and people supporting the Damascus regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad raise disturbing questions about its mission.

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The pictured faces of the smiling people in the photo are a little blurry, but the logos that appear above them on the entrance to the building are easily recognisable. It was taken on March 13th 2019, when a group from an organization called the Syria Trust for Development (STD) and French NGO SOS Chrétiens d’Orient (SOS Christians of the Orient) jointly inaugurated a socio-cultural centre in Hamdaniya, a once-wealthy neighbourhood in the city of Aleppo, in north-west Syria.