Monday, September 16, 2013

There are so many disturbing aspects of the current war in Syria, and Western responses to it.
1. Syrian Christianity is 2000 years old, with a church in Damascus since the book of Acts! St Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, yet most Western Christians today assume that Syria is full of Muslims and have no knowledge of the actual church there.
2. The Antiochian Orthodox church (of which I am a priest) has its Patriachal HQ in Damascus. The church has lived alongside Islam for 1400 years, sometimes with peace, sometimes with violence, but has worked out how to live in a civil society that has mostly worked. For example, there has never been a North-South civil war like in the USA. Relatively speaking, Christians in Syria have been ok, certainly less persecuted than in many other Muslim-majority countries.
3. The Christians on the ground in Syria report a very different story than the Western media is telling us. The bishops there are not happy with Assad but consider the so-called "freedom fighters" to be much worse! It is the "Free Syrian Army" which is predominantly Al-Qaeda-related who are the terrorists. Christians in Syria are shocked and bewildered that the West is arming and supporting AlQaeda! These terrorists which the western press calls "heroes of democracy" have been killing Christians, ransacking 1400 year old churches and monasteries, and destroying the country.
4. Christians on the ground in Syria have called for the West to stop arming the terrorists directly or via their Saudi middlemen, but are ignored! This is crazyness. Syrians assume it is about the Western quest for more oil and Western hegemony of the entire Mid-East. Their guess is probably accurate, as indicated by none less than Dick Cheney several years back when he said the US would soon invade 7 countries, and guess what, they have already done Libya, Iraq, etc. and now comes Syria just like he said.
5. In response to the "civil war" which is reality is mainly being waged by imported Pakistani, Saudi and Iraqi terrorists, millions of Syrians have fled, including tens of thousands of Christians.
In summary, the majority Western responses are atrocious and are having terrible consequences for Christians in Syria.
This post is part of a synchroblog (syncronised blog) in which various people write about the same general theme from different points of view, and thus help one to see the bigger picture. Follow the links below to see the other posts. More links may be added later, as more people add their contributions.  If you are participating in the synchroblog, please copy the links below and paste them to the end of our own post.

  1. Fr John D’Alton (Antiochian Orthodox) on THE SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND RESPONSES TO IT
  2. Richard Fairhead (missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, catholic, green, incarnational, depressed- yet hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian) of Relational Journey on Who would Jesus bomb?
  3. Ryan Peter (neo-evangelical) of Life-Ecstatic on Syria: The Show Must Go On
  4. Steve Hayes (Orthodox Christian) of Khanya on Syrian civil war: no good outcome?