Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Monday, May 2, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Nation and World
Christian, Muslim leaders examine challenges of Arab Christians
Catholic News Service photo
An Iraqi woman prays during a 2011 Christmas Mass at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad. During a Sept. 24 event in Rome, Iraq's ambassador to the Vatican, Habbeb Mohammed Hadi Ali Sadr, urged Arab nations to support the presence of Christian s within their own borders and abroad.
Catholic News Service photo
An Iraqi woman prays during a 2011 Christmas Mass at St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad. During a Sept. 24 event in Rome, Iraq's ambassador to the Vatican, Habbeb Mohammed Hadi Ali Sadr, urged Arab nations to support the presence of Christian s within their own borders and abroad.
Catholic News Service

AMMAN, Jordan — For decades, Arab Christians have been fleeing the Holy Land and the rest of the Middle East in droves, mainly because of violence.

Within the past two-and-a-half years, some 450,000 Christians are believed to be among the 2 million people who have fled the civil war in Syria, an ancient land of historic churches, the country where St. Paul encountered Christ on the road to Damascus.

Some 70 high-ranking Arab church leaders, together with their Western counterparts, and Muslim clerics gathered in Amman for a Sept. 3-4 meeting aimed at tackling "the challenges of Arab Christians."

The Christian and Muslims leaders aimed to find a way to end the sectarian strife threatening their people and countries.

"We must confront extremist trends," Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, told the gathering. He said it was the duty of religious leaders and their communities to work jointly "to get the new generation to accept 'the other,'" in order to "isolate these trends."

Sheik Aref Nayed, a Libyan Muslim theologian, challenged participants to consider what factors help create extremist groups in the first place and whether religious leaders may have also failed to protect their people against government-sanctioned violence.

"Did Sunni clerics support the Syrian people in their initial peaceful protests?" he asked.

He questioned whether Arab church and mosque leaders failed to stand up against regimes and rebels while their congregations were massacred.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, drew attention to how American religious moderates have "got the back" of Muslims in the United States.

"When (American) Christian fundamentalists attack Muslims, we immediately say this is not the response of Christians. We want to see moderate Muslims do the same thing for Christians in the Middle East," Cardinal McCarrick told the assembly, which included distinguished clergy from Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches in the Middle East.

"I would hope that the moderate voices of Islam would be raised right away," he said.

"By Muslims, there should be an immediate voice of great concern by the moderate leaders saying this is not true Islam," Cardinal McCarrick said, pointing to the milestone document, The Amman Message, developed in 2004 in part by Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, Jordanian King Abdullah II's chief adviser for religious and cultural affairs and personal envoy.

But Cardinal McCarrick also challenged Christians in the Middle East to try to hold fast to their ancient homelands, maintain their historic presence, and not flee to the West.

"They have to be brave enough to say: 'You are driving us out. If this continues, you will make it impossible.'"

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, led a minute of silent prayer for Christians who had died and for their families. He also paid tribute to Muslims who "denounce the acts committed by some of their mistaken co-religionists against Christians." He urged Arab Christians to continue to live "not alongside each other, but with each other."

Iraq is again facing some of the deadliest sectarian violence in five years; things had somewhat calmed in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. But in July, more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed and more than 2,300 were wounded.

Archbishop Jean Sleiman, the Latin-rite bishop of Baghdad, said most of the deadly attacks now taking place in Iraq involved Sunni and Shiite Muslims against each other.

Church officials say Christians numbered about 1.5 million before the 2003 war, representing just over 5 percent of the population of Iraq. Some now say Christians remaining in the country are half that figure.

Following the invasion, violence against Christians rose, with reports of kidnappings, torture, church bombings and killings. Some were pressured to convert to Islam under threat of death or expulsion, and women were ordered to wear Islamic dress.

Syrian Christians fear sharing a similar fate.

Archbishop Sleiman comes from Lebanon, which was torn apart by a 15-year civil war that killed 120,000 people.

Archbishop Sleiman said that, humanly speaking, Iraqi Christians and others in the region are in a "very deep despair." They fear Muslim fundamentalism and the push to turn the Arab countries into Islamic states, with Shariah or Islamic law as the main base of justice.

"The fear is pushing Christians to go abroad," he added.

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad agreed that emigration has grown.

Christians "don't trust the future and think they are marginalized. They are looking for a better future outside the country," the patriarch added. He said he believes that 600,000 Christians have left Iraq over the past decade.

On a recent visit to northern Iraq, Patriarch Sako encouraged the Catholic faithful in 40 villages to remain and not leave.

"But they need help from the church, Christian politicians, and abroad," he said, citing projects to build schools and health clinics.

"The situations in Syria, Egypt and Lebanon are also getting worse. Christians are feeling threatened," Patriarch Sako added, saying many feel they are "second-class citizens."

Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, custos of the Holy Land, said problems faced by Christians in the Middle East were "not new." He urged Christians to bolster dialogue with moderate Muslims.

"The church is able and has to do this. We have to avoid risks to be nostalgic of the past or to ask for protection. We, as Christians, are part of this society, and we also have to be part of the changes in the society."

He said Christians in the Middle East were seeking human rights, equal citizenship, freedom of worship and freedom of conscience. Christians are struggling for their place in Arab society and before government authorities.

"It's not always a war of religion, but that of power," he said.

Father Pizzaballa said it was important for Christians to work alongside Muslims to determine the future shape of their societies and countries in the midst seismic political change rocking the region.

"We have to build, little by little, a new model of societies in the Middle East. The changes are very dramatic, very fast, and we have to there," he said.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved