ASIA/SYRIA - Maronite Bishop: With regard to the conflict in the Middle East, Western Christians are poorly informed

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Latakia (Agenzia Fides) - With regard to the events in the Middle East and in particular the tragedy of Syria "The West is poorly informed including its churches, despite good intentions".
This is what Bishop Elias Sleiman, head of the Maronite Eparchy of Latakia, in an interview just re-launched by the U.S. section of Aid to the Church in Need, said with regards to the processes taking place in the Middle East that in his opinion are likely to weigh negatively on the moves of the international community concerning the Syrian conflict. "The problem of so many media" specified the Syrian Bishop "is that they really do not grasp the real picture of the situation. The Arab Spring has been depicted as this clear push for liberty and democracy, but the actual results in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, for example, proving otherwise".
The region of Latakia in northern Syria, has so far been largely spared from the conflict. In the territory Christians continue to live peacefully with the Alawites. According to Bishop Sleiman, the only way out of the conflict is to increase international pressure in order to establish "a dialogue between the regime and moderate elements of the opposition". The world’s big players must get involved in earnest and put pressure on the various parts "to come to the negotiating table", considering that "the big challenge is religious fanaticism" and that now "the moderate rebels and Islamists have begun fighting each other". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 19/10/2013)