Home > Synod > 2010-10-18 17:34:50
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Intervention of Mr. Paul SAGHBINI, Hospitalier of the Lebanese Association of the Knights of Malta (LEBANON), auditor

The future of Christians in our part of the world is conditioned by political and social factors, in which religion can have a direct influence. During the past few years, these factors led to a massive emigration resulting in demoralized Christian communities who were weary of all the nice words that were said about them.
On the political level and taking a general look at the region, it is clear that Christians are neglected for a reason. For them tom become, they need to be the “only” actors of their history, forgetting external assistance and counting only on their faith, their Church, the Vatican and the Universal Church.
In the medium term, one condition that could help reassure in their deep anguish and stop the hemorrhaging would be to reinforce in the chapter on “human rights” the “right to be different”. This should allow international authorities to indicate and sanction appropriately the discrimination they are guilty of, those countries that break the rules (the sanctions being of the same caliber as those applied to nuclear technology, for example). One should similarly provide clear support to those countries where minorities are left free whatever the political tendency of the country.
In waiting, Christians must take on to the best of their abilities their existential problems. In the Middle Eastern environments, it would be advisable to reinforce and develop dialogue (no matter the form) with moderate Muslims of the social fabric as well as with the leaders.
This dialogue could be in the form which Mgr. Bader (Moussa Abdallah-Algeria) has judiciously described as and which he called “daily dialogue” without provocation and in accentuating all of the common or unifying elements of action.
The successful experience which the Order of Malta in Lebanon with the Islamic authorities resulted in a dialogue of this kind. In particular I mention our common operations with “Dar el Fatwa” for the Sunnite community and (for over twenty years) the “Fondation de l’ Imam el Sadr” for the Shiite community. This is not counting the fifty percent of Muslims treated in our medical-social centers managed in community bythe sisters belonging to Catholic religious congregations and which provide more than 160,000 medical interventions per year.

[00165-02.05] [UD025] [Original text: French]


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