National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

In Middle East, democracy is the 'Great Jihad'

 | 
Prelates exchange greetings before the opening session of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in the synod hall at the Vatican Oct. 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ROME -- There’s nothing like the realistic possibility of extinction to push people beyond euphemisms, forcing them to lay it on the line. That was the spirit of several presentations yesterday afternoon during the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, as Catholic leaders from the region described a future that might be paraphrased as “democracy or death.”

The disappearance of Christians from the Middle East also poses the real and present danger, speakers said, of exacerbating a “clash of civilizations” between Christian and Islam.

The Synod of Bishops for the Middle East is being held in Rome Oct. 10-24.

Greek-Melkite Patriarch Gregorios III Laham of Syria offered perhaps the most forceful diagnosis, warning that the steady migration of Christians out of the region poses a whole series of worrying consequences.

“It will make Arab society a mono-color society, exclusively Muslim, facing a society in Europe that’s said to be Christian,” Laham said. “If that happens, and the East is emptied of its Christians, it could mean a new clash of cultures, civilizations and religions, a destructive conflict between an Arab Muslim East and the Christian West.”

In order to convince Christians to stay put, Laham said, it’s time to speak frankly to Muslims about why Christians are afraid.

Attention subscribers and donors! We’re rolling out an
online account management tool. Don’t miss out. 
Add or confirm your email address today.

Read the full report here: In Middle East, democracy is the 'Great Jihad'

Read NCR's full coverage of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East: Index of stories from the Synod.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

February 27- March 12, 2015

02-27-2015.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.