While the focus of the world’s gaze remains elsewhere, there is an alarming phenomenon happening in the Middle East: the attempt by foreign mercenaries, aided and abetted by the financing of other Moslem governments opposed to Bashar Assad, to destroy the last vestiges of Christianity in Syria, which, other than Lebanon, is the last major Christian outpost in the region. This pending disaster has also been encouraged by the foreign policies of Western nations, including the U.S., whose press has presented an distorted portrait of the current situation. As a result, the future of the Christian population in that country is problematic, an uncertainty that has caused massive flight from Syria to Lebanon.
Outside sources, all of whom are first hand viewers of this on-going tragedy, paint a very different picture from what is reported in American and European dailies and on television. The Vatican news agency, Fides, amongst others, has reported an “exodus” of Christians from Western Syria after unreported massacres by the “rebel army of Syria,” and warnings echoed in mosques within the region for the Christians to leave … or else. This religious, rather than ethnic, cleansing has been supported by Turkish, Libyan and Kurdish mercenaries, and funded from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
According to Fides, a French priest in the area, Rev. Philip Tournyol Clos, a Greek-Melchite Archimandrite (meaning a Prior of one or more monasteries), has stated, “Peace in Syria could be saved if everyone told the truth. After a year of conflict, the reality on the ground is far from the picture that imposes disinformation (emphasis mine) in Western media.” According to the cleric, most of the Christians in Western Syria, fearing for their lives, have fled to Lebanon. Also unreported is the fact, repeated by Rev. Tournyol Clos, that the rebel army has also targeted for destruction Alawite Muslims, overwhelmingly Syrian. Once identified, the cleric said, “The Alawites have no chance to get out alive.”
In a talk given in Rome on July 25, 2012, Mother Agnes-Miriam de la Croix, Mother Superior of the Carmelite Convent at Qara, in the Province of Homs in Western Syria, where most of the anti-Christian violence has occurred to date, provided additional details. She described the current situation as an observer on the ground, as well as one who deplores the use of violence in any form. (From the Italian website, chiesaepostconcilio.blogspot; the translation is mine.)
Although she noted that even under Assad, there was no religious equality between Muslims and Christians, the Mother-Superior wrote: “I’ve lived in Syria since 1994, under the regime of Assad, in which there was an enviable security (for Christians) but also a social fabric in which there was a form of peace among the religious groups.”
The reporting of Michael Carl on WND cites authoritative sources that confirm the observations of the cleric and nun. There can be no question of the motives and tactics of the “rebel army”; yet none of this is even remotely reported in the major outlets of the Western press.
In reporting the media’s coverage of the Syrian conflict: “All of the means of communication form only one voice to convince others that the reality is what they say it is. But it is a total lie, manipulation by the media. The truth is not what is seen on the television screen or in the pages of newspapers. There are journalists who admit that they cannot report what they see.”
The nun, who says that she is the voice of those who have neither voice nor international backers, is saddened by the international bias that is directed to only one part of the conflict that neglects the other. She adds that she wishes to underscore that the violence is not unilateral, and that “violence is not a means to gain anything, not even in Syria.”
As in the case of the Copts in Egypt and in the small numbers of Christians in Libya, the recent changes in regime have struck serious blows to the small Christian sects who have lived in these countries, albeit “under the radar,” for centuries. If Syria’s current government falls to those committed to Wahabi Islam, a theocratic state will follow, instinctively more hostile to the West, and clearly out to remove any remaining Christian influence.
The support for the violently anti-Christian Syrian army rebels by the Obama Administration is yet another example of its refusal to see the elephant in the room: the specter of future Muslim governments that will not even pay lip service to the notion of the administration’s vaunted “diversity” in religious affairs.
No administration undertakes a foreign policy unless it apprises and evaluates its impact on American national security. It is beyond cavil that the current administration has resources on the ground that provide the necessary information about the consequences of adopting a policy that undermines those who may not be allies, but clearly are not our enemies. It is, therefore, illogical and dangerous to pursue a policy in which you provide help to those who are committed to destroy the U.S.
After the election of Jimmy Carter, the Committee for the Present Danger was revived and began a concerted effort to inform the public of the dangers of Soviet expansionism. Perhaps a new committee should now be formed: the Christian Committee for the Present Danger, for unless Wahabi Muslim expansion is stopped, Christians in the Middle and Near East will only be a relic of the historic past.
The attempt by Sunni Muslims and their surrogates to remove the last remnants of Christianity in Syria is plainly visible to anyone who has followed that civil war, a war in which the U.S. and the U.N. have aided and abetted the rebel army’s cause, an army hell bent on destroying Christianity.
I have written elsewhere that Christian religious men and women on the ground near Aleppo have reported that most of the MSM stories coming out of Syria can only be classified as “disinformation,” not only about “government massacres,” but also the role of Islamic militants in removing any Christians—and Malawite Muslims—remaining in Western Syria.
There is an interesting historical parallel between the current situation in Syria, and the successful effort of the Shogun, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, to eliminate the Christian followers in Japan in the late 16th century.
The name Nagasaki recalls the dropping of the second atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and Japan’s surrender a week later. What may not be known, however, is that the city of Nagasaki was also the center of Japanese Christianity, and it was here in February 5, 1597, that 26 Catholic priest martyrs were crucified on the hill of Hishizaka, and their bodies left exposed on the crosses for nine months as a warning to others.
At one time, due primarily to the missionary efforts of Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries, there were 300,000 Catholics who worshipped in 250 churches, mainly in the south of the country. The effort by the Shogun at “religious cleansing” had its desired effect: Christian worship and influence virtually disappeared overnight. Today, the Church members comprise about one percent of the Japanese population. The Japanese Christian writer, Shusaku Endo, chronicled the religious persecution in his novel, Silence, published in 1969.
If Bashar Al-Assad’s government falls, the last refuge for Middle Eastern Christians is Lebanon, where many displaced Syrians Christians now reside, or plan to. How long before we see an effort by Muslims to remove them from Lebanon?
For those of us in the West who sit idly by as Christianity is destroyed, the words of St. John Chrysostom are applicable:
How can you be excused if—when others are persecuted, exiled and otherwise harassed—you do not exert yourself for your distressed people either by your presence or by your teaching.
Dave T. writes:
Dave T. writes: