Exodus. The changing map of the Middle East - Printable Version
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Exodus. The changing map of the Middle East - Fr Simon - 26-10-2010
From today's The Independant online:
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- Antony-Paul - 27-10-2010
What a dismal view of matters, but no doubt an accurate one. The position of Christians has been one of threat for nearly two millennia, so in one sense one might ask 'so what's new?'. But clearly there is a shift going on with non-Christian pressures upon our brethren, possibly to a greater extent than before.
However, I feel that it would be wrong to lose hope in the situation. There have been numerous diasporae by different factions over the centuries, and that has not seen the overall loss of the various faiths. I see no reason to imagine that Christianity will be irrevocably harmed, let alone die out, because of the present difficulties in the Middle East.
Perhaps a more positive view might be that where there has been persecution and martyrdom there has been a strength of faith among those who remain - one might think back to Tudor England for example, or 20th century Russia. Also, there is liable to be a corresponding increase in strength of faith in those places where the resettlement occurs. This has the potential to become a strong base for generating a resurgence at a later date.
I always hark back to the words of Our Lord and Saviour when He said that His Church will last forever. Clearly He will never allow it to be killed off, but will always ensure that it continues, though maybe with changes from time to time to suit changes in circumstances. So, instead of hand-wringing, it seems to me we should use this as an opportunity to pray ever more for the health of our beloved Church, that we may see and understand what the changes mean, and that we continue to work for the restoration of the Christian message in its homeland.