Tuesday, June 21, 2016

When Christianities Collide

From the American Conservative:
In 2014, the church bells of Mosul fell silent for the first time in 16 centuries following the onslaught of ISIS—a new and terrible evil that has engulfed Mesopotamia, driving out Christians by the tens of thousands, slaughtering countless Yazidis, Muslims, and others in its path. Against this background, several patriarchs of the ancient Christian churches came to Washington in September of that year to plead with Western religious and political leaders to save their besieged communities, including the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was instrumental in bringing the summit about. 

The patriarchs’ entry to Washington was highly publicized, and carried with it a hint of the spectacle (and politics) that accompanied the Byzantines to Florence. Unlike those in Florence, however, these ancient Christians from the East had no Caesar and no state. On September 9, they gathered in an ecumenical prayer service with their American friends as a symbol of unity. This quasi-liturgical event seemed to contain within itself much of the paradox and tension that it sought to diffuse, as protocol complicated presenting Evangelical leaders along with the patriarchs. Still more problematic, the urgent nature of the event had left insufficient time for many Evangelical leaders to participate at all. The following day, the patriarchs and other diaspora Christian leaders gathered at the U.S. Capitol, where the crowd of several hundred heard from more than 20 congressional leaders. On September 11, the anniversary of al-Qaeda’s 2001 attack on America, the patriarchs met with President Obama to plead for help against the radical offshoot of al-Qaeda that had carved out of Syria and Iraq a purported Caliphate. (Read more.)

1 comment:

Dymphna said...

Ted Cruz's behavior was abominable.