2010-10-23 15:46:22

Intervention of Mons. Flavien Joseph MELKI, Titular Bishop of Dara of the Syrians, Curia Bishop of Antioch of the Syrians (LEBANON), “IN SCRIPTIS”

Paragraph 25 of the Instrumentum laboris calls on the Middle Eastern Christians to put everything into practice, together with the moderate and illuminated Muslims, to be able to establish in the Islamic States, where they live, a “positive Laicity” which would guarantee equality for all citizens, recognizing the beneficial role of religions. This reform of the political and theocratic regime of our country “would make the promotion of a healthy democracy easier”.
These propositions, as hoped for and legitimate as they may be, is there any possibility of them being put into practice? Is it even thinkable that the Arabic countries of the Middle East, where fundamentalism is becoming more entrenched, will accept in the near future abandoning their theocratic regimes founded on the Koran and the Sharia, which constitute flagrant discrimination towards non-Muslims? To me this seems to be in the domain of utopia, for the centuries to come.
Apart from Lebanon, Middle Eastern Christians, who number about 15,000,000, have been for the past 14 centuries, submitted to forms of multiple persecution, massacres, discrimination, taxation and humiliation. Even today, in the third millennium, we watch powerless, with a wounded heart, the trials of our brothers in Iraq and their massive exodus.
Must we wait for the disappearance of Christians in the Middle East to raise our voices and speak up with force, liberty, equality and justice for these religious minorities threatened in their very existence? Will the civilized world remain indifferent towards their extinction?
We must act quickly to reform the Islamic regimes. Middle Eastern Christians by themselves cannot achieve this goal. They must be helped by the Universal Church and the democratic nations.
1 - The Holy See could intervene in this with the countries with which they have diplomatic relations.
2 - European countries, the United States and the countries that respect human rights should put pressure on all levels on the regimes who infringe the inalienable rights of the human being, to lead them to reform their laws, inspired by the Islamic Sharia, that treat religious minorities like second-class citizens.
And why not ask the international tribunals to plead the cause of Christians, victims of discrimination, and demand that Islamic countries treat their Christian subjects, following the example of the European states, who give Muslim minorities, who have become citizens, the same rights as the original inhabitants.
In mobilizing international opinion this way, Christians would have reasons to hope and find their dignity as citizens once again, which would induce them to stay.
We must constantly claim our damaged rights and our unrecognized dignity and act unceasingly to resolve this abnormal situation following the Word of Christ: “Ask and you shall receive, knock and the door will be opened”. Or again, following the example of the poor widow in the Gospel, without any defense, who through insisting finally obtained justice from an iniquitous judge, without faith and without heart,

[00196-02.03] [IS004] [Original text: French]

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