Thursday, 12 December 2013

The use of force in the Syrian conflict

Christians seem to be the most targeted group in any situation arising in the predominantly Mohametan Middle East. The Mohametans usually accuse us of being crusaders or western sympathisers. All sides of the conflict seem to blame Christians if they are ever to experience a degree of strategic loss and seem to blame Christians on joining the other side. As one can see, the Christians of the middle east always seem to be caught in the web of any conflict.

In Iraq the situation has reached a level so bad that all Christians began to migrate to the village of Qaraqosh, eventually forming a Christian Armed force for solely the protection of Churches and the Christian community. As far as I'm aware, these Christian armed forces have not taken any political sides, but have simply been set up (by volunteers I think) in order to maintain the small degree of religious liberty that has not been stripped away from Christians in Iraq.

Similarly this situation of violence is what has been experienced by Christians in Syria. Recently an Antiochian Greek Orthodox prelate in Syria stated every young Christian in a position to do so should take up arms to protect Syria, churches, and convents this comment I believe is consistent with Christian virtue. The key here is "protection", the use of force here is sacrifice on behalf of the community. This is a very noble thing to do. Let us never forget what the Gospel of John (15:13) says
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Let us also not forget that Our Lord himself used force to remove merchants from the temple

Unfortunately this comment by the Antiochian Greek Orthodox prelate (Lukas El Khoury) have been reprimanded by Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo. I am not so much taking sides, but rather am quite sad that the Christian leadership is not representing a united front in this situation. I feel that the Syrian Catholic Archbishop has not exactly understood what his Greek Orthodox counterpart said. And that El Khoury may have said his statement without consultation. Hindo seemed to suggest that El Khoury was advocating for reckless and aggressive violence.
Hindo says:
As men of the Church, we cannot incite Christians to take up arms and to take part in the conflict.
 It is a sad situation that Christian leadership is not showing a united front, especially in a situation that greatly desires and needs it. Please pray for the Christian leadership in Syria.


Through the Birth-Giver of God Maryam and Mor Ephrem. God bless you all.

1 comment:

  1. Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo needs to grow some cojones.