What does it mean to defend Christians in the Middle East? What does it mean to maintain their presence in the Holy Land?
The picture was perfect. Four patriarchs of the Maronite, Melkite, Syrian Orthodox and Syrian Catholic churches with the catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church sat side by side on the stage on Thursday in Washington at the In Defense of Christians Inaugural Summit. More remarkable was the coherence of the patriarchs' message: Not just Christians, but all religions of the Middle East, including Islam and Judaism, need protection. The future of the region, they declared, must be found in pluralism and inclusion.
Recent atrocities committed in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State have drawn attention to the plight of Christians in the Middle East. But the issue, with deep historical roots and myriad foreign policy implications, predates the incursions of the Islamic State. Who are these Christians? What is life like for them? And what should Americans committed to cause of assisting them keep in mind while attempting to raise awareness of the issue? NCR asked James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, for his thoughts.
In today's Republican Party, a number of factors have forged a new religious identity that supersedes familiar old categories.
NCR Today: Vatican to investigate disgraced cardinal's archdiocese; Catholic clergy in CAR praised for showing courage; shrinking majority in U.S. support death penalty
Marriage needs "to be preserved and strengthened, not redefined," San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said in support of the State Marriage Defense Act of 2014.