Christianophobia in the middle East: the nature and causes of

   Religion   

Vladimir Lepekhin, Director, Institute for the EAEC, the coordinator of the Discussion club of the world Russian people’s Council
Alexander Rudakov, head of the Expert center of the world Russian people’s Council

Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. According to approximate data, for example, in the middle East, which is one of the most problematic (Christianophobia) regions, every five minutes for faith to kill a few Christians and a few representatives of this denomination have been forced to flee outside their country. And this despite the fact that the middle East is the cradle of Christianity.

The rapid spread in the countries of the region to terrorism and religious extremism have led to the fact that some of them (especially in Iraq and Syria, Christian communities are being genuine and systematic destruction. So, in the early XX century, Christians in the middle East accounted for 25% of the total population of the region, and today they are less than 1%. And this happened not as a result of natural attrition, but due to the persecution of Christians, which ultimately escalated into a direct genocide.

Frightening in its scope and explicit sequence representations and actions against Christianity, its representatives, institutions, symbols and traditions are increasingly taking place in the countries of Western Europe. While it is increasingly clear the correlation between the wave of de-Christianization in the West and the genocide of Christians in the middle East. This trend, in particular, the report of the Expert center of the world Russian people’s Council “Global challenges: religion and secularism in modern society”, published in the media.

What are the main causes of the rise in the world this trend of persecution against Christians and purposeful destruction of a number of specific Christian communities? Is it possible to achieve religious peace between the Christians, on the one hand, and supporters of various branches of Islam on the other? How to protect Christians in the Middle East from terrorism and keep their Church and way of life on the land, on which, in fact, Christianity was born?

All these and other similar questions are crucial not only for every Christian, but to mankind in General, as the persecution of Christianity, gave rise to several civilizations and several great cultures, and the last two thousand years, determines the identity of the greater part of mankind, is obviously associated with the formation of a new social reality and, therefore, the principal change is the “reasonable person”.

The discussion of this issue goes out today to the forefront of the world Russian people’s Council and a number of public organizations and religious communities, representing the interests of churches, exposed to genocide in the middle East. But a Discussion center WRPC has taken the lead in promoting wide public expert discussions of this issue, including at the site of the leading Russian information Agency — MIA “Russia today”.

One such discussion in which took part the authors of these lines, as well as the Deputy head of the world Russian people’s Council (ARNS), vicar of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Bishop Voskresensky Savva (Mikheyev), the authorized foreign Ministry on issues of human rights, democracy and rule of law Konstantin Dolgov, political scientist and broadcaster Roman Babayan, a member of the inter-Council presence of the ROC Arkady Maler and President of the Union for promoting the preservation of traditional spiritual values, “the Christian world” Alex Circassian, held in late August in MMPTS MIA.

The main conclusions of the discussion are as follows.

That the genocide of Christians in the middle East, adopted a systemic and irreversible form, you can say since 2003 — since the beginning of the war in Iraq, which became a kind of Pandora’s box. Since then, the number of Christians in Iraq has declined from 1.5 million to 150 thousand and continues to decline. The next country, which is doomed to destruction of more than 1.5 million Christians, it becomes Syria.

According to the head of the Expert center ARNS Alexander Rudakov, the genocide against Christians is not due so much to religious controversy, but with a civilizational war waged aggressive secularism, and militant Islamism against the native Christian identity in the middle East.

Its victims over the past hundred years have been the Orthodox faithful of the Armenian, Assyrian and Coptic churches, the Syro-Jacobites, the Maronites, the Syro-Catholics and Chaldo-Catholics.

“The genocide of ancient Christian communities, with nearly two thousand years of history is intended to destroy the memory of the historical roots of Christianity, to destroy historical artifacts and traditions and, therefore, to attack Christianity as such, to accelerate the process of de-Christianization in the global scale,” — said the Director of the EEU Institute Vladimir Lepekhin. “In turn, the total de-Christianization necessary for the builders of the new world order to replace biblical values and traditional Christian ethics is fundamentally different economy”.

In such a situation, any Christian and any supporter of the traditional values of the interest today is to prevent the destruction of Christians and to oppose Christianophobia effective and efficient countermeasures. According to the Deputy head of the WRPC Bishop Voskresensky Savva, one of the countermeasures is to unite all Christians around the idea of helping the Christians of the Middle East. This idea brought today his Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill with Pope Francis I. It is the desire to protect Christians from destruction is the key to dialogue representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Vatican.

Today, the main direction of attack on Christians in the Middle East is Syria, where in the case of an opposition victory and the coming to power of radical Islamists obviously be destroyed (or squeezed out of the country) more than 1.5 million Christians. Already only for this reason, the role of the Russian HQs in Syria and the policy of the Russian leadership in the middle East is exceptional, noted in his speech, the Commissioner of the Russian foreign Ministry on issues of human rights, democracy and rule of law Konstantin Dolgov. And this can not understand Christians around the world.

Today, it is important to draw the attention of the UN and the world community to the genocide of Christians in the middle East. So, according to a member of the inter-Council presence of the Russian Orthodox Church Arcadia Mahler, is to be found a universal definition of this phenomenon by analogy with the concept of “Holocaust”, meaning the genocide of the Jews during the Second World war.

According to the analyst Roman Babayan and President of the Union of the “Christian world” Alexei Cherkezova, for peace in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries to stop the genocide against Christians and create conditions for the full life of the Christian communities where they have grown historically, it was essential to launch different formats of dialogue between Christian churches of the East and West.

Believe it is also important to involve in the discussion of problems of increasing Christianophobia representatives of the world media and the global expert community.

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