Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox: Our Muslim neighbours

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox: Our Muslim neighbours

"The Christian presence in the Middle East has been made practically untenable by a perception - completely unwarranted - that Christians are the existential enemies of Muslims. This perception was bolstered by the war in Iraq. It continues to be fanned and spread by the likes of Daesh and al-Qaeda.

If we Christians in the West want to be of any service or help to the Christians in the Middle East, we need to have our priorities straight and our message needs to be clear. We need to disavow and repudiate all claims that Muslims are our enemies. We do have a deep and perhaps irreconcilable doctrinal dispute with Islam that is not going away anytime soon, but we also have to deal with the practical implications of the fact that Muslims are our neighbours, and that in many cases we share in their struggles.

The fact that this is the official position of my Church, the Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, articulated countless times in many different venues, spoken and written (for example, this one), should be proof that this is not feel-good moral posturing. This is not liberal handwringing. This is not armchair SJW-ism. This is not about political correctness. This is about survival. Christians, Muslims and Jews live alongside each other in the Levant and have been doing so for centuries."

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