Wed

29

Jan

2014

Fr Georges Massouh: The Lamb Shall Defeat the Beast

Fr Georges Massouh is an Antiochian Orthodox priest and the director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon.  

Article courtesy of Notes on Arab Orthodoxy

 

 

Last week, Christians celebrated the "Week of Prayer for the Unity of Churches," during which they held various activities focusing on prayer for the restoration of the hoped-for unity, enacting the will of the Lord that they be one just as the Most Holy Trinity is one.

This year, the occasion was overshadowed by concerns on the ground.

Christians are under the difficult circumstances that Syria is going through, where Christians, alongside their Muslim fellow-citizens, are subjected to murder, slaughter, expulsion, kidnapping and rape. These things do not discriminate between Christian and Muslim or between Sunni and Alawite, Shiite, Ismaili and Druze, all victims of the blind hatred that makes no exceptions.

It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads. They are patient and pray at all times for the return of peace, stability and security to the land of their fathers and forefathers.

There is no doubt that Christians, when they pray for the unity of their churches, also pray for the unity of their nations and their societies and the consolidation of their bonds of affection and kinship, regardless of religion or ethnicity. Christianity and insularity are opposites that can never come together. Christianity is either a maker of peace and concord or it does not exist at all.

In this world unity on the religious or national level appears to be very difficult to realize because of human sins and moral failures. However, the blood of the righteous that is shed-- Christian, Muslim, atheist and agnostic-- is what creates unity in the world to come. What humankind cannot do, God does through His mercy and power. The innocent are God's pure ones, regardless of their religion, ideology or race.

Here we can make reference to the Revelation of John, where its writers says of the Kingdom, "Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more deathor mourning or crying or pain" (Revelation 21:3-4). This kingdom was not realized by anything other than the blood of Christ shed upon the cross, "Because you, O Lamb, were slain and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). The Lamb was victorious over the beast and over those who behaved like the beast.


The two kidnapped bishops, who without a doubt are praying without cease for the Church and the nation, the captured nuns of Maaloula, who have no consolation save the power of the life-giving cross, and all those who have been kidnapped and unjustly detained who have no support save the the Help of those who Sorrow, the innocent victims whose blood cries out to their Creator, they are the ones brought together by the one, invisible Church, made by God alone. They also are the makers of the Syria of land, history, and shared future.

The Black Wind

Short documentary from Sama TV examining the suffering of Christians during the current conflict in Syria. In Arabic with English subtitles.


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As-Salaam-Alaikum

Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

H.E Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Lebanon - Called on the U.S to “work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.

 H.B. Gregorios III Laham, Melkite greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - "Every day Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them."

H.H. Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (R.I.P.) - "Syrians are the only ones who will decide their destiny, and that decision will be taken in Damascus, not in a European country."

H.H. Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -  “Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region”.... the Patriarch denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, “Who appointed them [United States] as ‘policemen of democracy’ in the Middle East? ”

H.E. Maroun Laham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan  - “This interest, on the part of the United States or of Europe, for human rights or for the defence of the weak, no one believes. No one believes it!,”

H.E. Jacques Behnan Hindo,  Syriac Catholic Archbishop ofHassaké-Nisibi (northeastern Syria) - Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis “Please excuse my expression. They are screwing all Syrians

H.E. Theodosius Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia (Nablus, Palestine) - "Will the displacement of Christians from Syria, their killing and slaughter and the destruction of their churches lead to an alleged democracy?"

Rev. Georges Massouh Antiochian Orthodox priest and director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon. "It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads."