Editorial: ​Christianity belongs in the Middle East

ICC Note: Prince Hassan of Jordan and Jewish scholar have written together an explanation as to why Christianity belongs in the Middle East. Below they explain that to lose Christianity from their region, it would destroy the “richness of the tapestry of the Middle East and [be] a hammerblow to our shared heritage.” 

The Islamic State wishes to thrust the Middle East back into the dark ages with their lightning advance and toxic theology.

Jordan (Gulf News): Christianity has been part of the essential fabric of the Middle East for 2,000 years. Far from being a western import as some, incredibly, now seem to suggest, it was born here and exported as a gift to the rest of the world.

Christian communities have been intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilisation. This central role in our region and civilisation is why it is abhorrent to us, as a Muslim and a Jew, to see Christianity and Christians under such savage assault across our region. We are appalled not only by the sickening attacks on our fellow human beings, but we also know that to lose Christianity from its birthplace would be to destroy the richness of the tapestry of the Middle East and a hammer blow to our shared heritage. 

The reality is, we are all one community, united by shared beliefs and history.But this is increasingly denied, with Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) taking the lead both, in justifying and carrying out these attacks. The most recent issue of its publication Dabiq, headlined ‘Break the Cross’, explicitly rejects the fundamental belief that we are all People of the Book.

Daesh peddles an apocalyptic vision that harks back to a mythic Golden Age, which is solely the creation of the warped minds of today’s jihadists. They are in the same mould as those whose misguided zeal turned Christian Europe in the Middle Ages into a byword for fanaticism and oppression. Daesh wants to take us to a new Dark Age, an age made even darker by the damage that the gifts of science and technology pose in their hands. It is not just Christians, of course, who they have made targets for their hate.…

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