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

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Continue to remember Pastor Tandin Wangyal, who is serving a prison sentence of almost four years in the small nation of Bhutan, only because he received funds from outside the country to help support his ministry. Ask God to sustain our brother at this time, so that he will draw comfort from God’s grace. Pray that his faith will not fail. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 17 hours ago

    • Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for freedom for the thousands of Eritrean Christian refugees who have fled from escalating anti-Christian persecution in their home country, and are being detained in prisons in Egypt. You said that You had been sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. We especially ask your healing for women and men who have been raped in prison, and for your grace for those who have been kept chained for months, suffering hunger, torture and abuse. Please free these faithful ones, who suffer for Your Name. (Luke 4:18,21) Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, despite the apparent desire of jihadists to wipe it out. Most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes, after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Pray for their protection. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Continue to pray for church leaders in Christian-majority Burundi that they may have wisdom in responding to the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government. A new law passed in August requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building; congregations were given a year to comply. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to you for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Shani, in Borno state, until their town was raided by Boko Haram on 29 November. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Dec 2014 00:00

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