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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-16 11:17:53
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Intervention of Mons. Paul-Emile SAADÉ, Bishop of Batroun of the Maronites (LEBANON)

One of the biggest problems facing Christians in Lebanon and in Middle Eastern countries is displacement. It can be summarized in its spiritual, theological, cultural, political and social dimensions. In brief, it is the most realistic expression of the situation of life and existence itself of Christians.
First, the causes of this displacement:
1. Security reasons: it refers to the denominational and sectoral strife and conflicts related to dogmatic and ideological differences. Plus the continuous results of the Arab-Israeli conflict and all the regional wars caused by it.
2. Socio-political reasons: based on the quality and honesty of those who are in power. Whenever the judge is weak politically and militarily speaking he goes to persecute the minorities to cover his own weakness.
3. Publicity reasons: this is represented specially by what the Western evangelizers do (such as the Protestant sects, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc...) of publicity and activities inside the countries of the region, especially inside the minority communities in order to serve religious and political goals at the same time.
4. Religious reasons: Through the growth of fanatical and extremist movements from the Sunni and Shiite in the majority of the region’s countries and the activities and influence of these movements and their desire to come to power themselves. All these reasons are a direct threat against Christians who are displaced inside their own country or in other distant countries.
Second, the negative results:
1. Emigration and displacement are two main factors in demographic impoverishment for the Christian minorities. According to Dr. Said Adin Ibrahim, in the late ‘80s, the Catholic Christians in the Middle East numbered about 2.3 million but in 2000 they were only 1.614.000.
2. This decrease expresses not only the imbalance on the demographic level but also on the qualitative level, shown by the emigration of two main groups of the country’s growth: the brains and specialized personnel that directly affects the existence, the presence and the role of Christians in these countries.
Third, the solution:
1. Christians are asked to be more attentive or conscious of the meaning of their presence and the need for their commitment in public life (Instrumentum laboris, no. 46).
2. Improving links between the Christians of the Middle East and the Christians of the Diaspora. The Church has an essential role in reinforcing these links for equal service to both.
3. To enliven the Christian faith and the witness to Jesus in actions and daily life.
4. Sensitizing Christians to their rights to free and dignified living in the land of their ancestors and to remain there. Their homeland is the land of their ancestors, the homeland is not a hotel.
5. Collaboration among faithful, Church and state, to respect the decree on human rights that guarantees the minimum level of religious and cultural freedom and participation in political life in their countries.
6. Collaboration with the moderate Islamic communities and encouraging them to stand firmly against fanatical extremist religious movements.

[00111-02.02] [IN085] [Original text: Arabic]


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