Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bishop: Christians Should Take up Arms in Syria

ALERT: Bishop Luca disavows below report. See here for details.

Orthodox Bishop Luca al-Khoury says kidnapped nuns "unable to discuss their situation freely," slams international community for "accepting the opposition’s version of events" and "for not stopping flow of arms to Syria militants."

This is one of the most significant moments of the Syrian conflict to date. There have been rare, anecdotal reports of some Christians who have chosen to join the Assad government forces to protect their homes and churches and monasteries from the Muslim jihadists, but no widespread Christian resistance has yet formed.

This points directly to one of the most serious dilemmas for Christians. Are we ever justified in taking up arms against an aggressor? Or should we always be prepared for suffering and martyrdom at the hands of Muslims or other persecutors?

Bishop Luca al-Khoury's appeal is also an implicit condemnation of the Obama administration's policy of supporting the Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra-linked groups, as well as of all the Sunni Muslim countries sending fighters and supplies to the jihadists. Then there is the issue of the hundreds of Muslims from the U.K., U.S. and other Western countries heading to Syria to join the jihad. The Obama administration is openly complicit in stoking the Muslim jihad against Christians in Syria and across the Islamic world, a policy which Raymond Ibrahim has termed "Obama's proxy war on Mideast Christians."

The ominous irony of Bishop Luca's appeal is that the U.S. government has already demonstrated its willingness to side against Orthodox Christians and with their Muslim persecutors during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, in spite of clear evidence of persecution against the Serbs by Albanian Muslims. (See also this article, documenting the Clinton administration's machinations on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims.)

If Syrian Christians do take up arms to defend themselves, it takes little imagination to predict that a U.S. led campaign against Assad would also specifically target the nearly defenseless Syrian Christians. Given the Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government and national defense network, this is hardly a far-fetched possibility.

As I wrote several months ago, Obama is on the wrong side of history. This is further proof of it.

Bishop: Christians Should Take up Arms in Syria
Pravmir — 12/9/2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Orthodox Church official urged Christians to take up arms in Syria and defend themselves against extremists, condemning the international community for not stopping flow of arms to Syria militants.

Speaking to the Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman, Bishop Luca al-Khoury said “we have many young men who are asking us (to take action), and there are those demanding that we take immediate action.”

“I call on every young man who can take up arms to come forward,” Khoury said, adding that the initiative was meant to allow the community’s members to engage in self-defense and protect Christian holy places, which have come under attack recently, Al-Alam reported.

“Our young people are ready; their fingers are on the trigger and they’re ready to fight for the sake of Syria and for the sake of self-defense,” said Khoury, the patriarchal assistant at the Antioch Diocese, based in Damascus.

Asked about the 13 nuns and several orphanage workers who were seized last week by Al-Qaeda-linked militants and taken away from Maaloula to the nearby town of Yabroud, Khoury indicated they were unable to discuss their situation freely.

The women appeared in video footage broadcast Friday by Al-Jazeera television and said they were being treated well after being forced to leave Maaloula due to heavy shelling. The militants who have taken the nuns away say they haven’t ‘kidnapped’ them.

Khoury said that some 40 churches had been damaged during the war in Syria and blamed the international community for accepting the opposition’s version of events, like “the government is killing its people – they are seeing things with only one eye”.

Khoury urged leading countries to instead make efforts to stop the flow of weapons into the country.

In Lebanon, caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the events in Maaloula, where the Syrian army has been trying to secure against Al-Qaeda-linked attacks, have been locked in a fierce campaign for the last several weeks, were having an impact on Christians in Lebanon and the rest of the world.

Bassil told a news conference that it was time to act in order to halt “the series of attacks on Christians”.

“Reactions in Lebanon, the Levant and the world haven’t been sufficient,” Bassil said, adding that a similar disappointing response followed the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in April.

The minister proposed both prayer and large-scale peaceful demonstrations to express outrage over the targeting of Christians in the war in Syria.