The New York Times offers up Turkey as the model for Egypt's reformation - with a twist of Islam. Fascinating that the first quote comes from a formerly objective journalist, Hugh Pope, who is now an apologist for Turkey. The model offers little hope for Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians. Will Copts continue to live without adequate protection, and dwindle in numbers -- and in unsavory ways -- like the minorities trapped in the demise of Ottoman Turkey? In Alexandria, a church bomb killed more than 20 in December, the most recent on a long list of intimidations.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Monday, December 13, 2010
A week ago, I got a note from someone in Baghdad saying that insurgents were offering $100 rewards for murdering Christians there. Today, the New York Times writes that Iraq's Christians are fleeing en masse because they feel unprotected, and they are going to the Kurdish region and even Turkey - an irony given historic ethnic conflicts. Many of these Iraqi Christians consider themselves Assyrians, the ancient Mesopotamian tribe that predated Christianity and was present across the Ottoman Empire. (Read the book "Not Even My Name," containing Sano Halo's testimony about her starvation march through Turkey, dictated to her daughter Thea Halo.) Following World War I, some Assyrians fled from Iran to Iraq, where others had lived for centuries. They also went to Chicago, where the Assyrian (Chaldean) Church has a quiet presence. This issue illustrates how overzealous missionaries divided Chrisitianity and rendered it powerless in some regions. We should all be one.