What the Middle East would be like without Christians

22 Dec

I am not a Christian Scientist. Nevertheless, I have been a loyal subscriber to the Christian Science Monitor for a long time now. I like it for at least three reasons:

1. It covers the world. For it, the U.S. is not the be-all and end-all of news.

2. It takes religion seriously as a newsworthy human phenomenon.

2. It is not as driven by the 24/7 news cycle. It takes time to consider things, and it does not hype or scream–about religion, politics, economics, celebrities, violence, sports, etc.

So, as we approach Christmas, here’s a link to the cover story from this week’s Monitor:

What the Middle East would be like without Christians – CSMonitor.com.

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4 Responses to “What the Middle East would be like without Christians”

  1. jhubers December 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    The CSM is one of my favorite reads as well for the most part, but this article is a rather shallow treatment of a complex subject. Most egregious is its failure to note the role of Israel in this exodus. The exodus of Palestinian Christians is due almost entirely to the occupation and its effects. Sadly, the only “expert” the writer of this article chose to quote was Michael Oren who is the go-to person for the Israeli hasbara (essentially Israel propagada) who uses articles like this to deflect all responsibility from Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians. It also fails to note the efforts of Muslims to help stem the tide, as well, particularly the work of the Jordanian prince who is a great proponent of interfaith dialogue and the promotion of maintaining the Christian presence in the Middle East.

    • Douglas Firth Anderson December 22, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thanks for the further perspective. It is good to know what the *Monitor*folks do and do not fully “get.”

      On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Buffalo Doug

      • jhubers December 22, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

        Doug, I have to modify my earlier comment somewhat. The rise of Islamist essentialism accompanying the collapse of civil society in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt has, in fact, led to the kind of anti-Christian violence captured by this article. This is a sad reality. What the article fails to investigate, however, are the roots of this radicalism. In the case of Iraq much blame needs to be laid at the doorstep of the US, which is true with the rise of al Qaeda, as well. Where the article really misses the point is making the assumption that the issues are basically the same across the board – it can all be laid at the doorstep of radical Islamism. That is not the case in Israel/Palestine. That has to do with the occupation. It has always been about the occupation.

      • Douglas Firth Anderson December 23, 2013 at 10:10 am #

        Thanks, John. Your comments make perfect sense. It reminds me of a “downside” of *Monitor* reporting: a softening of the critical–dare I say prophetic–edge. I applaud what they see and report on, yet they tend muffle some of the complexities and factors in the situations to which they attend. I say this from years of especially reading their reports (from various reporters) on China.

        On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM, Buffalo Doug

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