One of the most ancient monasteries in the world, St Matthew's, stands on a barren mountainside in northern Iraq, its last inhabitant a crusty old Syrian Orthodox priest. Nestled between sandstone crags with views of the hills around ancient Nineveh, now called Mosul, it looks like the final redoubt of the Christian world. Seven thousand monks used to worship here; now there is just one, Father Ada Qadr al-Kars. This thinning of the ranks has taken centuries, he said, but in the valleys Iraq's Christian community, targeted with especial ferocity by Islamic extremists for the past year, is disappearing rapidly. Churches have been bombed, priests kidnapped and Christian neighbourhoods subjected to random shootings, the terrorists' revenge for the community's shared religion with the "Christian" invaders.
Friday, January 07, 2005
ANCIENT FAITH: THE CHRISTIAN MIDDLE EAST
Here's a link to a fascinating article about Christians still trying to live out their faith in the hostile regions of eastern Syria, Turkey and Northern Iraq. EXCERPT:
This article reminds me of a fact that I think post-modernists ("Edward Said-like" "orientalists" and Marxists and anti-colonialists) have pretty much successfully gotten the West to forget (because they dominate the "academy"):
Namely, that the nearly the entire Middle East - and North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt - was Christian LONG before the people were forcibly converted to Islam, AND THAT CHRISTIANITY IS AN ANCIENT INDIGENOUS FAITH TO THE AREA - AND NOT SOME EUROPEAN IMPORT!
Another FACT often over-looked - or deliberately obfuscated: the Crusades were DEFENSIVE WARS waged by the Church to RECAPTURE lands which had been taken by force!
The idea that Christianity is alien to the greater Middle East and that it's an alien "Western" presence in the greater Middle East and is in itself an affront to indigenous culture is FALSE. Christans - AND JEWS AND BAHAI'S AND SUFI'S - deserve to be able to live and worship ANYWHERE in the Middle East and North Africa - including Iraq, Iran Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Gaza! Those who would prevent the indigenous peoples of these regions from worshipping as they have for CENTURIES - and as they please NOW -are fascists who deserve - at best - our utter scorn.
Posted by Reliapundit at 9:14 PM