Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Preferential Option for Christians

I am increasingly hearing stories of Christians suffering persecution in the refugee camps  of Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon and even in the 'Jungle' in Calais, one can perhaps understand that these camps are pretty lawless and are filled with angry desperate people, the focus of the anger seems to be Christians and other minorities. Rape and torture are not uncommon and coercion to convert seems to be pretty common.The disinterest of Western governments has led in many places to the cut of rations and the general deterioration of sanitation and healthcare. For Christians these camps are not good places and many avoid them and remain destitute on the streets of the Middle East.

The low priority that many feel even the Holy See has given to plight of Christians has left many of our bothers and sister feel lost and rejected, The help given by Catholic charities is tiny compared to the need and for many it is non-existent, perhaps our modern sense of inclusiveness for all religions blunts our ability to focus on the needs of Christians but it is Christians who are, next to groups like the Yazidis in the greatest need.

The refusal of Europe's politicians to acknowledge the specific place of Christianity in Europe has caused a lumping together of all refugees, It is true all are in need but Christian's needs are greater. The huge throngs that are now making there way through Croatia or in the fields of Calais are obviously from all over the world Pakistanis and Afghanis are there with Syrians and Iraqi, Egyptians and Sudanese, others from Ethiopia and Eritrea. When your children are starving or members of your community have been killed or tortured or you live under the results of the break down in law and order are you a refugee or an economic migrant; the distinction seems rather old fashioned and arbitrary. The world is in turmoil, so many Islamic states seem ungovernable or with past Western interference and growing Islamic militancy on the verge of it, there is a fragility in the Islamic world. Like Iraq bombed by the West 'into the stone age' and with a shrinking oil market elsewhere much of the Islamic world is declining economically - poverty on our borders is not a good recipe for security within our borders.

We should not turn any away but our capacity for help is limited and the numbers of those in need of help will grow but from a very practical point of view we must have a preferential option for Christians - it should be a priority for the Pope and the Holy See. For politicians, as politically incorrect as it might be to raise Christians tend not to be a security threat, Christians tend to integrate much more easily than Muslims, they tend not to have violent opposition to even to those things which mark current Western culture. Christians from the Middle East tend not to look for support from, or have allegiances to foreign governments, I am worried about the Saudi money Islam in Britain today. Christians are more easily identified as a group that are free from radical tendencies.

The great problem is that Europe is unable to cope with such a great influx of refugees. Britain's solution of taking people directly from the camps, though of course so many Christians are afraid to enter them, avoids the madness of Mrs Merkel's welcome to 800,000 which has been the main reason for many to make the great trek into Europe. Though I am happy to welcome anyone, even in my house, I want to be pretty certain they are no threat to me and no threat to our society. I am certainly willing to welcome anyone but if I can express a preference it will always be for brother sister Christians.


Michael Petek said...

The way I see it is this. Christians are quite unlikely to be a threat to the institutions of government, because Christianity expressly forbids sedition and commands that the constituted authorities are ministers of God. Even Pontius Pilate declared that he found no sedition in Our Lord's claim to be a King.

The same is not true of Islam. This is a political religion which generally reserves all power on earth to the Muslims, who alone lawfully serve as God's ministers. All others are to be opposed and fought as tyrants and usurpers. The Islamic community tends to claim that its members may legitimately use physical force as their own resource for giving effect to the substantive claim.

Arguably, the mere profession of Islam as the one true religion is capable of encouraging the commission of criminal offences, contrary to the Serious Crime Act 2007 ss44-46. It seems to have encouraged one Reyaad Khan to travel to Syria and, from there, to compass the death of the Queen.

Wherefore the Royal Air Force used an unmanned aerial drone to give effect to Matthew 26:52 and Romans 13:4 in regard to him.

Physiocrat said...

Christian immigrants from the Middle East to Sweden have been an asset to the country. They do not stand in the city centre recruiting for ISIS and working for the Sweden to become an Islamic State under sharia law.

We should be refusing entry to our enemies. Feed them, clothe them, wash them, treat their illnesses and then send them on their way.

Liam Ronan said...

Thank you for your insightful moral observations, Father. Spelled out this complex and vexing matter rather well. Cheers.

Gerald said...

I'd rather we impoverish ourselves supporting them in Islamic countries than move them here in their millions and millions and both impoverish ourselves and become yet another brutal Muslim-dominated country where human life is cheap and human dignity is ignored amid the barbarism. Let's preserve our nations even if we have to give every last penny our treasure away to Syria and other countries to establish safe zones. Otherwise we shall be overwhelmed and our children will be fleeing what's left of our homeland.

Liam Ronan said...

@James C,
There is a report in The Mail today (and I've seen this largely confirmed by statistics published by the UN) that:

"Only one in every five migrants claiming asylum in Europe is from Syria.
The EU logged 213,000 arrivals in April, May and June but only 44,000 of them were fleeing the Syrian civil war."

I presume therefore that there are not 'millions and millions' of Syrian Christian refugees out there". They do deserve our fullest support within the bounds of reason as touched upon earlier by Father Blake.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Father Blake,

Yet again a superb article, I doubt anyone could find in it a thought which they did not share.

Perhaps the main problem is the MSM are determinedly against Christianity, in particular the Catholic Faith. We are obliged to trust in the pope to defend our Faith, in spite of worrying signals from him, especially the latest ones from Cuba, but we must hope and pray he knows exactly what he is diong, even if some of us are confused.

John Fisher said...

Moslems who value there religion will go to their co religionists. Saudi Arabia is more than wealthy enough to take the Sunni's and Iran the Shia's (especially since the trade embargo has been lifted). Europe is for Christians. Iranians share a common dialect with Syrians. Sunni's also have some Arabic... it is used in the mosques.
Many of the immigrants are not in Europe for religious or ethnic reasons. They are a mixed bunch and many are after social welfare. How many of these who are Moslem's will dump Islam I think will be few. Islam and its ideology are the danger that Europe faces. It is a foreign and anti Western, anti Christian ideology. It must be opposed like Communism and fascism...or it will result in war.
Europe will find if it allows incompatible immigration it will allow the disputes in Syria to continue amongst the diaspora in Europe.
I am European I don't want the diversity of Europe that history shows is so easily upset by conquest after immigrations and invasion of the past to be destroyed again by Islam. Islam wants to take over the world and we must give up our lives excluding it and converting it.

JARay said...

There were the usual murmurs from the usual sources when out previous Prime Minister announced that Australia would take an extra 14,000 Syrian refugees and that preference would be given to those who were most persecuted (i.e. Christians). Of course we have now lost that Prime Minister (Tony Abbott...a Catholic) and we now have a very small 'l' Liberal as our new Prime Minister. I feel that the expressed policy will now be watered down.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Lord have mercy by the Blood of Christ.

Cardinal Manning wrote to John Henry Cardinal Newman,"to strip the Holy See of its Temporal Sovereignty has been, since Henry VIII, the passion of Protestant England...The Catholic society of Europe weakened, the Christian society will soon in turn give way. Then comes the scourge...the Anglican Church in like manner gives pabulum to every heresy, and harbours within its system what the living Church of God expels and casts out...Sabellianism, Pelagianism, Nestorianusm, Calvinism, Lutheran ism, Zwinglianism, Naturalism, and Rationalism..." Easter, 1861.

Francis said...

"Moslems who value there religion will go to their co-religionists." Well, in practice the "Ummah" concept is a bit of a myth. The community of believers has an informal pecking order: true Arabians from the peninsula (being of the same ethnic background as the prophet) are at the apex; North Africans and other Middle Easterners whose ancestors were islamized and arabized by conquest have a lower status; Muslims from the Northern Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Far East are lower still in the unofficial hierarchy. There is no authentic and all-embracing doctrine of love of neighbour in the religion, so in times of crisis tribal loyalties, prejudices and internecine cruelty are very much in evidence. Which is why so many are heading for the West.

Matthew Roth said...

The Holy Father led the way as one of the two families housed in the Vatican apartments is definitely Melkite Catholic.

I also think we ought to recognize our duty to innocent persons, and especially Christians, who are threatened by overwhelming military forces. It is far past time to launch a ground war against the Islamic State...I'm not sure what we could have done to intervene in the Syrian civil war, given that the predecessors of ISIS were fighting a government that left Christians alone at the same time it committed gross violations of human dignity.

Jacobi said...

There is a major problem with Christians in the Middle East, and with what is left of Christianity in Europe. That will mean a savage religious war in Europe in the next 20 years or so.

Islam is preoccupied with two issues, an internal fight between Shia Islam, backed by Iran, ( and indirectly Russia, and Sunni Islam, ( backed by Saudi Arabia and the USA).

Both Muslim factions are pouring into Europe at present and will continue to do so indefinitely, intent on establishing their own particular version of the Caliphate.

We see the day after day on the TV. Young, fit, healthy, well financed, men of military age.

The crassness of the German has ensured this and ensured that this influx will continue indefinitely.

You comment on the Holy Fathers' pre-occupation with other matters. He has the de-Catholicisation of Latin America to deal with, and this takes up time. In the first year of his pontificate while Christianity in the Middle was collapsing he hardly mentioned it at all.

Syrian attracts much attention at present. We must all speak out and state the obvious that Assad of Syria, whatever his faults, is the man we in the West must back in the intermediate term. He protects minorities such as Christians, Yazidis and Kurds all of whom have Militias fighting on his behalf and these Militias, particularly the Christian Militias, must be supported and equipped with adequate weapons.

This has got to be done while further analyse and deal with the situation.

Adulio said...

In the name of tolerance, we have opened the borders to people who can (and may) become intolerant when they are comfortable in Europe. That is something Pope Francis refuses to get.

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