The loss of a meaningful Christian presence in the Middle East could further polarize relations between Christians and Muslims around the world – and bring us a step closer to the kind of “clash of cultures” that no sensible person wishes to see.

Walter Russell Mead, Wall Street Journal, May 16-17, 2015

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The presence of Christian communities in the Middle East is in grave peril – particularly in Syria and Iraq.  People who have sustained a presence there for 2000 years are fleeing and being killed.

It is a difficult moment for them and for us.  As a country and a Church we have been slow to respond.  The same must be said of the West, of Europe.

Adversity on such a scale provides opportunity.  We can either work collaboratively to make a place for Christian refugees or be responsible for doing nothing.  We can either build relationships with others based on the faith we share and the values that this faith holds, or we can be responsible for doing nothing … nothing to help others, our brothers and sisters, and ironically ourselves.

You see challenges like this make of us – either a great people or not a great people.

In doing nothing, we place Western Civilization at serious risk.

Our recent record has been dreadful – full of failure and active self-deception that increases the danger we face.

While populations of Christians in the region have plummeted, we have focused on global warming, gender equality, sexual preferences, national health care, expanding the dependency class here, and race.  While innocents are being slaughtered, we are tending to “perfection” as we see it – as it resonates from our particular desires.

We have focused on self to the exclusion of others – even when those others face life altering and life ending peril.

How can this be?  In a word, we have forgotten God.  Left God out of our life and our actions.

Grave circumstances dictate that we change.  We will need faithful leadership for this to happen – and that will be realized when a faithful people awake, join together and speak up.

… though our Savior’s Passion is over, his compassion is not.

William Penn, in Some Fruits of Solitude (1693)

Shalom.

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