Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Plight of Christians in Middle East deba...

Email:

Plight of Christians in Middle East debated by House of Lords

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Plight of Christians in Middle East debated by House of Lords

Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the position of Christians in the Middle East is “more vulnerable than it has been for centuries” in an important debate in the British House of Lords.

The-House-of-Lords-chamber-4X3.jpg
House of Lords Chamber
CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by UK Parliament

Dr Rowan Williams introduced and closed an almost five-hour debate on Friday 9 December about the situation of Christians in the region in light of the “Arab Spring”. Barnabas Fund had produced a briefing paper, upon request, for this debate.

The Archbishop said that the Arab Spring “began as a distinctively non-sectarian set of movements” but “has inevitably opened the door to some of those Islamic political activists who suffered repression under the old regimes”.

He spoke of the potential consequences of the revolutions for Christians and other minorities. Highlighting the examples of Iraq and Egypt, from where many Christians are fleeing as a result of violence and persecution, Dr Williams said that the eventual outcome could be that Christians in the region had to either emigrate or retreat into enclaves. He said that the latter may be the only way to guarantee the safety of Christians there, but that many rightly feel the creation of enclaves was yielding an important principle.

The Archbishop’s concerns were backed by other Lords, with Chris Patten raising an even graver prospect:

We are facing religious cleansing in parts of the Middle East and may be entering what might be thought of as an Arab winter for Christians, Jews and other minority groups alike on a scale that we have not hitherto seen.

Lord (David) Howell, a Foreign Office minister, told the peers that the UK government would do "everything possible" to help fledgling regimes in North Africa and the Middle East in their efforts to embrace democracy and preserve Christians' rights amid political turmoil. He said:

As countries embrace reforms and democracy to varying degrees and in varied paces and ways in the process of the Arab Spring, it is absolutely crucial that religious diversity in the Middle East is respected.

The Archbishop reminded the Lords that Christianity was not an import to the Middle East, rather an export from it, and that Christians had been present in the region for 2,000 years. He stressed that no one was “seeking a privileged position for Christians in the Middle East”, but “a general commitment to civic equality and the rule of law”.

He said that “the security and well-being of the historic Christian communities in the region are something of a litmus test”, determining “the political health of the region” following the Arab Spring.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Plight of Christians in Middle East debated by House of Lords

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon
  • Young Christian man killed by Muslim co-worker in Pakistan for refusing to convert to Islam http://ow.ly/w1Uum 23 hours ago

  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

© Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks