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Russian, Syria and the Long Lens of History
Get Religion.org ^ | 6/8/12 | Terry Mattingly

Posted on 06/15/2012 7:17:53 AM PDT by marshmallow

One of the most interesting facts about the branch of Orthodoxy to which my home parish belongs is that the Church of Antioch is one member of the family of Eastern churches that has rarely controlled its own culture and, thus, its own destiny.

The same is true of the other ancient churches of the Middle East. Almost all of them have spent centuries and centuries of their history as minority groups in a region that is both complex and dangerous to religious minorities.

Thus, GetReligion readers will not be surprised to know that — especially after the fall of Constantinople — the larger churches in the family of Eastern Orthodoxy have been strong advocates of the protection of Christian minorities in the Middle East. Centuries of conflict between Russians and Turks leap to mind. There was that incident called the Crimean War.

This may not surprise GetReligion readers, but it appears to have been somewhat of a surprise to The New York Times editors who handled that recent news feature that ran under the headline, “Russian Church Is a Strong Voice Opposing Intervention in Syria.

Please understand that there is much to praise in this piece and it focuses on a crucial issue.

As others have written, Christian minorities in the wider Middle East have been caught in a painful vise throughout the Arab Spring. Take Egypt, for example. Consider the fallout for religious minorities in Iraq. It’s hard to support someone like Bashar al-Assad in Syria. But what if majority rule is likely to be even more dangerous for at-risk minority groups?

Thus, there is this crucial background material near the top of this report:

It is clear by now that Russia’s government has dug in against outside intervention in Syria, its longtime partner and last.....

(Excerpt) Read more at getreligion.org ...


TOPICS: Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
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In a region in which persecutions and hostile regimes are discussed in terms of centuries and eras, religious leaders tend to think in broader historical terms. Tyrants come and go. But what is the long-term implication of the Christian faith being crushed and/or eliminated in the lands in which it was born?

Indeed.

A point which completely escaped the authors of our Iraqi adventure.

1 posted on 06/15/2012 7:17:59 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
I honestly think that was viewed as a net benefit.

There is an interesting line of thought that removing troubling minorities in the Middle East will bring peace. It is madness, but the US has been willing agents of spreading islam since at lease Kosovo. If not before.

A hard question that we as Americans have ask is, which side is our country on?

2 posted on 06/15/2012 7:50:57 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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