Lebanon’s tongue tied Christians

Lebanese Maronite Monks celebrate a mass in the house of Lebanese Saint Charbel in the valley of Qadisha north of Lebanon on January 3, 2010. Deadly attacks on Christians in Iraq and Egypt have left Lebanon's dwindling Christian community anxiously mulling its own uncertain future in a predominantly Muslim region. AFP PHOTO/JOSEPH EID (Photo credit should read JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

An interesting piece in today’s NOW Lebanon looks at how politics, sectarianism and religious fear have combined to silence many of Lebanon and Syria’s Christian clergy from denouncing the distinctly not peaceful, unforgiving, uncharitable and certainly non loving crackdown on Syria’s pro-democracy protestors.

NOW Lebanon quotes Georges Nassif, former editor of An-Nahar's religion supplement, saying that humanitarian issues are not high on the agenda of the Middle East’s clergy. “Churches here are mostly liturgical and little concerned with human rights,” he said.

Indeed, members of the clergy in both Syria and in Lebanon have voiced support for the Syrian president, calling him a reformer and backing his claims that the protesters are armed.

In a piece last month, Christianity Today said it had received a letter on behalf of Syrian Christians saying that “radical Muslim groups are “responsible for the disturbance" in Syria and raising fears that Syria’s estimated 1.4 million Christians would be persecuted by Islamic fundamentalists under any change of regime, as they were in Iraq.

To read the NOW Lebanon piece, click here.