You’d think people would have figured out by now that there are Christians in the Middle East. What’s more, they’re often Maronite Catholics, and if they are not Catholic they’re more like the Orthodox than anything else.
Yet somehow, Christians are completely ignored in the area of the world in which Our Savior lived, died, and rose again. Perhaps its because their lack of Protestantism makes people turn a blind eye. Perhaps its because unlike the Muslim terrorists, they aren’t as inclined to blow things up. Normal people living their lives aren’t really newsworthy. Perhaps its because they’re dirt-poor, and NPR doesn’t quite yet feel like admitting that they’ve got a serious bias issue in their reporting.
I have a lot of respect for Middle Eastern Catholics (and that includes all Christians in the Middle East). They are being martyred literally. They aren’t just losing jobs, or having to reconsider careers, or being sued for publicly believing in Christ. They are being murdered, raped, and marginalized because of their faith, and they will not give up their faith.
So, this post is for the Middle Eastern Catholics, Orthodox, Chaldeans, whatever. Let’s go visual, shall we?
Welcome to Lebanon!
“The followers of St. Maron, both monks and laity, were always faithful to the teaching of the Pope. The Maronite Church is the only one among the Eastern Churches that has always maintained its bonds with Rome and the Successor of St. Peter. In fact, in 517, as controversy continued to rage over the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon (451) regarding Christ as “true God and true Man,” persecution of the Maronites broke out which resulted in the martyrdom of 350 Maronite monks on account of their defense of the Council’s decrees. Because of this, the Maronites were also known as the “Chalcedonians.” Even today, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, our liturgy prays: “O Lord, preserve your children from all error or deviation, grant us to live and die proclaiming: ‘Our faith is the faith of Peter, the faith of Peter is our faith!’” Taken from a Maronite Catholic site.
Hey, lets go to Jerusalem!
There’s these people called the Syriac Catholics… Go learn about them!
This is incredibly sad, but the Christians in Iraq and Pakistan have had more than a rough time. This is due to a mixture of religion, politics, and plain old evil. Please read this blog where it is mentioned that there are very many good Muslims who are trying to teach and live the good, true, and beautiful. Its heartbreaking how even in communities where people have lived in peace, there are so many outside influences that can hurt people. I remember hearing about a little boy, the only survivor of his family, following the terrorist gang as he stepped over the bodies of his relatives, crying and asking, “Why? This is shameful!” Eventually he annoyed them enough that they killed him too. He was 3.
As always, please pray for these people. God knows how much they have suffered. And while I’m on my Catholic Culture post, I’ll also mention another place you can find Arabic and Middle Eastern Catholics and other Christians- MICHIGAN! ^_^