Should Christians abandon the Middle East?

The 5th in my series of Theological Questions to Which the Answer is No is asked by the Catholic Herald.

Car fire caused by bombing of coptic church

Bombing of Coptic Church

They point to the dreadful killings and persecutions there such as the one in Alexandra in Egypt which caused the death of so many.

But this is to totally miss that Christianity came to birth in the Middle East and that we would lose so much of our understanding of the bible if we gave in to the siren calls to leave. That no-one who has heard Canon Andrew White can imagine that Christians don’t belong in the Middle East. To give in would be to give in to ethnic cleansing.

A slight glimmer of hope was the call by the European Parliament to governments to address the problem of persecution in the Middle East of Christians.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, told the European Parliament that any “discrimination or violence” because of religious beliefs violates EU values and should be “taken seriously and condemned with the same force”.

She added that the EU would not “turn a blind eye” to the plight of “long-established Christian communities in the Middle East,” and was “ready to enhance co-operation with governments to combat intolerance and protect human rights”.

I hope that this is raised as a serious issue at the next foreign ministers meeting on January 31st.

3 comments on “Should Christians abandon the Middle East?

  1. Esther Somerson
    February 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    New 4 part drama C4 21.00, Sundays, from 6 February. ‘The Promise’. Radio Times article : ‘Suicide bombings, peace protests, executions’ – Peter Kosminsky says filming his Middle East drama in Israel was a supreme challenge. 7 yrs in the making it tells of 2 Brits, separated by 60 yrs who visit the Middle East at moments of heightened conflict…. charts origins of Arab-Jewish strife in 1940s Palestine…surprising parallels between our army when we ruled region under UN Mandate & those employed by Israeli military against Palestinians today.
    ‘Israeli / Palestine conflict will inevitably prompt complaints from both extremes but it’s brilliantly observed & meticulously balanced.’

  2. Will Cookson
    February 5, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Thanks Esther. Sounds well worth watching. Another one which I want to watch is the Louis Theroux Ultra Zionists about the settlements in the West Bank. Looks like it should be a great programme.

    • Esther Somerson
      February 6, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      You’re welcome, Will. ( have to admit am pleased Claire Foy’s new outing on aforesaid prog doesn’t clash with Lark Rise, oh ar. There’s always catch up though).

      LT’s work always invites controversy. He has done some wierd progs, especially in USA. I’ll look out for the one you recommend.

      I have just read more items in my RT & think interesting one will also be ‘The Chinese are Coming’, Tues 21.00 BBC2. ‘Millions of Chinese are crossing Globe in pursuit of earth’s riches, Justin Rowlat investigates.’ Article depicts a world map siting UK,Africa, Turkmenistan,China, Antartica, NZ, Pacific, Peru, USA & Brazil. Wide rangeing consequences. A lot of stats and economics. ‘Every resource rich nation is now selling to the Chinese. As C’s economy continues to boom, its appetite for resources has far outstripped ability to produce them.. Nearly half Brazil’s entire iron ore output .. it’s world’s 2nd biggest producer is sold to C….. C is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy….etc.’

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