Vatican Decries Plight of Mideast Christians
In a document presented here [Nicosia] on Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI, bishops from across the Middle East decried the plight of Christians in the region, largely attributing their widespread exodus to the “instability” caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and unrest in Lebanon.
In recent decades, Christians have gone from 20 percent of the region’s population to less than 5 percent, and the number is dropping. Calling on Christians to become a dynamic minority in a conflict-ridden region, the document also lamented the rise of “political Islam” and said Christians suffered in countries where Muslims often “make no distinction between religion and politics.”
...Ending his three-day visit to Cyprus, Benedict also made a “personal appeal for an urgent and concerted international effort to resolve the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, especially in the Holy Land, before such conflicts lead to greater bloodshed.”
...But even as the pope called for peace and dialogue, the weekend was darkened by the killing in Turkey on Thursday of Bishop Luigi Padovese, 62, the head of the Turkish bishops conference and one of the authors of the document. His Turkish driver has been arrested and charged with the crime, which the pope has said was a “personal” matter, not driven by religious or political motives.
The bishops’ document said that Christians have been leaving the region because of conflict and instability there.
“Today, emigration is particularly prevalent because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the resulting instability throughout the region,” the document said. “The menacing social situation in Iraq and the political instability of Lebanon further intensify the phenomenon.”
Let's start with Nicosia:-
Following the intercommunal violence of the 1960s, the capital was divided between the island's Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in the south and north respectively. An attempted coup to unite the island with Greece in 1974 led to a Turkish invasion, leaving the capital divided since then, with Turkish Cypriots claiming the north as the capital of their own state, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (recognised only by Turkey). On 3 April 2008, as part of efforts to reunify the island, a symbolic wall dividing the two communities at Ledra Street was opened. Nicosia retains the distinction of being the world's last divided capital.
And who is causing regional "conflict and instability"? Who is raping Christian girls in Bethlehem? Who is murdering priests in Gaza? Who is killing Copts in Egypt, Christians in Iraq?
Where are the Assyrian Christians? How small are the Maronites in Lebanon?
Wake up, Benedict.