PEREGRINATIONS - Canadian Catholic Perspectives and Reflections by members of the PERSONAL ORDINARIATE OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER
Friday, 19 August 2016
Patriarch of Antioch castigates Canada and the West for abandoning Christians in the Middle East
Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syriacs, i.e.
the head of the Syrian Catholic Church spoke this month in Toronto. The Patriarch rebuked the West over its
“stunning” indifference to the genocide of Christians in the Middle East.
cent of Iraq’s Christian population has died, fled, become refugees or, more
recently, been killed by Islamic terrorists since 2003.
outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011, more than half that country’s Christians
have been killed or exiled. Iraq and
Syria together had about three million Christians in 2000. Today, more than two
million of them are either dead, internally displaced, living destitute in
refugee camps or trying to rebuild lives abroad.
The Patriarch deplored this slaughter of
Christian civilians and clergy, the desecration or destruction of more than 140
ancient churches and monasteries, the unknown fate of two archbishops kidnapped
three years ago and the ongoing use of civilians as human shields.
As the world
watches, radical Islam spreads. The decimation of Christians and other
minorities remains fundamental to Islamic radicalism. It is a genocide.
warned that the devastation will continue for as long as the West is willing to
“betray its own principles and abandon Christians and other minorities.”
The US and
Canadian see-no-evil relationship with Saudi Arabia and some other Islamic
nations is at the root of the problem, he insisted. Financing and arming of
international Islamic groups has, predictably, produced terrorists, the
complacency and greed, and the abandonment of Christian principles in order to
keep Mideast oil flowing is a principal cause of this problem. Our brother and sister Christians will continue to suffer as long as this selfishness pervades the leadership of Europe and North America.
Governments are largely economic opportunists and pander to Middle Eastern
regimes which have no interest in retaining Christianity’s 2,000-year presence
in the region. The leadership of the
Federal Government in Canada along with other leaders remain silent and
inactive as Christian and other communities face annihilation.