Baroness Warsi on MENA Christians: right problem, wrong diagnosis

By staff writers
November 22, 2013

"Christians 'face extinction' in their ancient homelands because of a rising tide of sectarian attacks." That was the way the Daily Telegraph signalled the content of a talk by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi last week.

The full title of the speech at Georgetown University, Washington DC, was “An international response to a global crisis”. It can be read here: http://sayeedawarsi.com/2013/11/16/an-international-response-to-a-global...

"Christians 'face extinction' is not the way I'd put it, but I agree with Baroness Warsi that this is one real challenge today," responded Middle East analyst and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian via Twitter (@HarryHagopian).

He has since been engaging with the public media and with a range of faith bodies on the massive pressure and violence meted out to Christians (and other minorities) in the Middle East and North Africa - including an interview on the impact of MENA region developments on Christian communities in Iraq, Egypt and Syria for Russia Today (RT) yesterday, 21 November 2013.

Some of these vital and complex issues are flagged up in Harry's article 'Two atrocities: how long can a piece of thread be?' (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/19300), which also appeared on the Huffington Post, where he is now a regular contributors, alongside columns and podcasts / webcasts for Premier Christian Radio (the evangelical station) and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. You can read his extensive Ekklesia comments and articles here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian

The plight of Christian minorities in many lands across the world is grave and getting worse. This is undoubtedly a time for solidarity. But talk of 'extinction' does no justice to those who are bravely resisting, to those who are determined to stay put, to those who are forging alliances against oppression, and to those who wish to highlight the extraordinary courage and fortitude of all people on the receiving end of religious or anti-religious violence.

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