In a number of Middle Eastern states, the situation of Christians remains difficult. In Syria, their number has more than doubled, Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, told a speech at a round table on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
“The repression and expulsion of Christians in the Middle East has become a systemic problem. This is the most powerful challenge to the security and stability of this region, - quotes him TASS. - The region is the cradle of the three world religions; the deprivation of its elements of one of these religions would have caused irreparable damage to the entire regional structure, would have consequences far beyond the region, which, in fact, is already happening. "
According to Dolgov, over the past seven years, the number of cases of violence against Christians, including in the Middle East, has increased by more than 300% (estimates of human rights organizations). The most difficult situation in Syria and Iraq, communities in Libya and Yemen are in a difficult situation. Terrorists are destroying "traces of a centuries-old Christian presence in the territory they control, in Syria the number of Christians has decreased from more than two million to one million people," Dolgov notes.
On the other hand, the ombudsman positively assessed the tendency to normalize the situation around Christians in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia: “These are very positive tendencies, they must be fixed”. In addition, Dolgov said that Russia's actions in the Middle East had led to an improvement in the humanitarian situation, including among Christians: “I would like to emphasize that the operation of the Russian Aerospace Force plays a crucial role in the fight against terrorists in the countries of the region, particularly in Syria . Against this background, their positions weaken. Of course, this creates the prerequisites for the gradual restoration of the cultural heritage and humanitarian situation in the region, including with Christians. ” The Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation emphasized that Russia "has a key role in upholding the interests of the Christian population in the Middle East."
“Russia will continue to pose all the issues related to the protection of Christians in the Middle East at international platforms, in particular, in the UN, the OSCE. Much has already been done, - gives the word Dolgov TASS. “The task now is to unite the efforts of various states and human rights organizations in order to put a reliable barrier to these actions (in oppression of Christians)”.
Alexey Grishin, President of the Information and Analytical Center Religion and Society, agrees with K. Dolgov. He says that the position of Christians in the Middle East inspires serious concerns.
“The huge scope of terrorist activities by the banned“ Islamic State ”and other extremist organizations leads to significant damage to Christianity as a whole. First, people are afraid to declare that they are Christians, they are afraid to believe, they are afraid to do some missionary, preaching work, ”said the expert. Reedus.
Grishin notes that a particularly disturbing situation has developed in those localities where militants destroy Christian shrines, plunder monasteries and execute monks. The damage is so huge that at best losses can be recovered only in years through 100 or 200 years. At worst, the loss is irreparable.
The expert has no doubt that a religious war is already underway: “The extremists are counting on the most brutal crimes to be committed against Christianity. Their task is to push the Islamic and Christian world together. ”
Extremists are trying today to seize the leading position in all of Islam. To achieve the goal, they need a global conflict with Christianity: “Then they will be able to control certain processes inside Islam and say that extremist methods of struggle, extremist beliefs are needed, people must be exterminated on religious grounds, etc. That is, it’s a matter of their survival . Therefore, they are doing everything to cause a very strong damage to Christianity throughout the world, and in the Middle East in particular. ”
Grishin explains his point of view: Islamist militants hope that Christians will take steps to protect their values (which is already being done: some countries, including Russia, are raising this issue). Islamist extremists will represent such protection as an attack on Islam. This is the next propaganda stage, the expert believes.
He proposes developing an appropriate plan for the protection of Christian values within the United Nations - such that extremists do not have the opportunity to launch propaganda work. And this is a very important point.
“Political confrontation in other areas is less significant now. Ukraine, some other issues, even the climate or weapons issues are not so important now. If we miss this moment today, we will get a religious war between Islam and Christianity on 200-300 years in advance. One and a half billion against one and a half billion. And it will be scary. "
However, can the whole world defend Christian values? So that protection is actually implemented at the UN level?
Alexey Grishin doubts on this point, noting that Western states are not aware of the seriousness of the situation. They are not ready for full-fledged dialogue. "And they do not allow us to unite in the fight against the propaganda, the evil that Islamist extremists bear," the expert says.
At the end of the interview, he reminded the journalist that at the end of the 1980s, Wang announced: if the world fails to overcome Islamist extremism, he will receive religious wars for many years to come. The expert believes that now "the prophecy is coming true."
In fact, we add, the issue of combating global terrorism is not at all in the protection of Christians alone and their values. It is necessary to take a much wider one: the central problem is in the separation, the split of humanity.
Once, science-fiction writers dreamed of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. This reason could be “evil” or “good”, but somehow the understanding of the plot was achieved. Later it became completely different: the Earthlings are not able to understand even each other, so far from galactic contacts!
The West does not understand Russia and does not share the convictions of its leaders; Russia responds to the West in the same way. Many oriental despots (like Saudi Arabia or Qatar) or authoritarian Turkey have their own views on the future of Syria, which the government doesn’t like the latter (and then the problem of Alawite and Sunni opposition emerges). The Chinese are in conflict with almost all their neighbors, not because of views on Confucianism, but because of island territories. Japan in all negotiations with Russia stubbornly “puts pressure” on the “issue” of the Kuriles, and at the same time it rushes to arm itself to the teeth. Ukraine is eager to "return the Crimea." Europe is not going to remove restrictive measures from Russia - “sanctions”. Let us recall the ethnic massacre in the former Yugoslavia, and the current semi-recognized entity called Kosovo - this constantly ember of conflict, both political and religious. And in the Middle East, the blood of innocent militants is being “poured” by the “IG” - but one should not think that these bandits are fighting for “faith” and not for territories, oil and other riches. And so on, all over the planet!
Religious Wars (historical the roots of which, by the way, are very deep) against this background are only one of the conflicts, as well as one of the reasons for the conflicts. Religious confrontation in its global form or in specific societies is unlikely to stop: the faith of people in different gods and prophets, as well as numerous interpretations of this or that faith in pursuit of its “purity” and “truth”, will more than once lead the world community or regional societies to confrontation.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru