Middle Eastern Christians block changing water to oil

Middle Eastern Christians block changing water to oil

                                    Sejaan Kazzi

                                    Vice President of Phalange Party (Kataeb)

A perilous destiny awaits all peoples of the region because of oppressive regimes or erratic revolutions. However, Middle Eastern Christians are at risk from both. Between the rifles of the first and swords of the second, crucifixion became more frequent while the cross is hidden.  Voices are raised calling for the West’s protection or condemning its indifference while the real protection is to resist evil and favour freedom and neutrality toward military events.

It is unfair to accuse Western Christian countries of planning to evacuate the east of Christians. And delusional to think these countries are willing to wage a war for the survival of Eastern Christianity. To the West, the East is just land and the "underground" is more important than human beings. The West, which did not consider eastern Christians at the height of its faith, will not take notice today while atheism dominates its societies.

Though the West does not feel the right to defend Christians as a religious community, it has a duty to defend them as a human group entitled to the right to live, liberty and dignity based on the human rights charter and international law, and on the ability of groups with a special relationship with the West to play a role in regional peace and international relations.

Through this humanitarian concept Eastern Christians are united within their environment to relieve the West of defending them because there is no embarrassment in defending human rights. No-one will explain this situation as directed against other religions but against oppressive regimes and extremist groups outside international law and real revolutions. Under this title, the West defended the Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, the Sunnite in Bosnia, the Tibetan people in China, Christians in southern Sudan, the Palestinians in Israel, and Muslims in Mali.

Seventy years ago, the West supported and protected the Jewish State of Israel, indifferent to the repercussions of this position. While Eastern Christians, for 2000 years, did not cost the west a single bullet nor implicated it in wars or exposed it to oil embargo or introduced terror into its capitals. Eastern Christians have paid for their relations with the West and the West make them pay for its relationship with others.

Some Westerns considered Eastern Christians just an "area sign" in Christian geography, reminding tourists that Christ was born here. It is an indifference based on a lack of economic feasibility in defending the Eastern Christians political role and thus free Christian presence in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, the West already admitted Christians in the Middle Éast as numbers or remnants whose leadership fled to the west, and wondered why they were not trickling out finally. Why insist and resist? Why block the conversion of water into oil and oil into gold? Why do things the hard way? (Such as Christ carrying the cross on the Road to Calvary)

Consequently, Western Christian and Islamic extremist groups' interests meet. Thus Eastern Christians find themselves in conflict with both sides about their role. Perhaps repositioning the Christians of Lebanon since the Taif Accord is the main model of Christian politics in the Middle East that the West wishes for -- I mean the “political Maronite". Therefore, it is time to get out of alignment with the other to make a free coalition.

The West’s indifference to Middle Eastern Christians was enhanced after the establishment of Israel and the Arab oil discovery. Jews and Arabs impact on the West's decision-making centres, and Western countries tried to influence the Vatican. However the late Pope John Paul II stood up to such attempts and launched "Synod for Lebanon" believing that establishing Christianity in Lebanon is a natural corridor to be confirmed in the east.

Then Pope Benedict XVI completed the message by launching "Synod for the Churches of the East" after the Iraq war and before the outbreak of the Arab and Islamic revolutions in the Arab world. The present Pope went so far as to come to Lebanon in September 2012 in a historic visit that awakened Christian conscience, strengthened their national partnership, and raised morale at a difficult stage in their presence in the Middle East.

I do not look to Christian persecution in Arab countries in terms of a tight geographic angle as it is associated with this system or revolution only, but from a global perspective because Christians are being persecuted, murdered, deported and denied their identity in every country where there is Islamic extremism such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq and finally ... Lebanon. And Islamic extremism is not limited to groups such as Al Qaeda and Front Victory but also includes Islamic intellectual curricula in Sunnite and Shiite military jihadi organisations.

Therefore, I do not rule out that the wave of change in the Arab world, which inevitably are corrupted, and repressive regimes will turn to systems that will communicate with the project of establishing an "Islamic World", along the lines of international communism in the last century, at the expense of national Islam (such as the Future Movement).

Accordingly, The Christians of Lebanon shall feel free to choose what suits them from electoral laws and constitutions, units and entities, regardless of who may be pleased or frustrated. The correction of the electoral representation imbalance is the beginning of the struggle, not the end. The fate of the Christians will not be decided on Twitter but by "following your footsteps".  And the bet today is not to be sectarian or secular, unitary or divisive, but simply to be …


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