ASIA/SYRIA - Syrian Archbishop: the Pope is right, the definition of 'genocide' applied to the plight of Christians in the Middle East is misleading

Friday, 24 June 2016 martyrs  


Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) - "What the Pope said on the definition of the 'genocide' applied to the sufferings of Christians in the Middle East is beautiful and useful, because it brings us back to reality and helps us not to take our eyes off the experience of martyrdom, which accompanies the entire journey of the Church in this world". This is what Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, at the head of the Syriac Catholic Archieparchy in Hassaké Nisibis said, who in the light of his personal experience in the scenario of the Syrian war confirms the wisdom of the views expressed by Pope Francis last June 18, during his meeting with students at Villa Nazareth university College.
"I do not like, and I want to say it clearly", said on that occasion the Bishop of Rome, "when speaking of a genocide of Christians in the Middle East", adding that it is the "sociological reductionism" when one uses the category of genocide to indicate "what is a mystery of faith, a martyr", and campaigning to define "genocide" the experience of persecution, "which leads us to the fullness of their faith".
Even for Archbishop Hindo, the definition of genocide does not apply to the sufferings of Christians even on a historical effectual plan, "because there are many more Muslims, even Sunnis, who are killed as apostates by fanatic jihadists". "But above all - emphasizes Syrian Archbishop speaking with Agenzia Fides - campaigns and also political mobilizations to recognize as genocide the tragedies that affect Christians represent a form of secularization, and end up dissipating in the consciousness of so many perceptions of martyrdom, as it has always been experienced and recognized in the Church. The martyrs participate in the sufferings of Christ, and Christ himself takes them in his arms, at the time of their suffering, as was the case in the great persecutions of the early days".
In some cases, the self-styled "Christian militias" operating in both Syria and northern Iraq aim to achieve in the short term loans and military supplies on the orders of the US Congress. These loans - stress the US media – would represent a concrete potential effect of the statement with which the same US Congress described the violence suffered by Christians by militants of the Islamic State (Daesh) as "genocide". "This possible development" points out in that regard Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo "confirms the instrumental nature and the negative effects of certain campaigns that are used as justification for creating the so-called Christian militias. Thus, even Christianity is reduced to ideology of war used by tribal groups, while the Christians, in the course of history, and despite many contradictions, recognized that the use of force to defend the people, starting with the weakest should be left in the hands of the State and civil institutions.
Therefore, even the Pope's words on these points, are an aid to return to the true nature of Christianity, freeing us from all of its ideological reductions". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 24/06/2016)

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