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Journal

The Cross and the Black Flag

What Middle East would it be without any Christians?

This article was published in Oasis 22. Read the table of contents

Last update: 2021-12-06 11:09:30

LEADER

 

Eastern Christians: Witnesses to Faith, Creators of Culture, Martino Diez

 

FOCUS

 

Three Lessons From the Martyrs, Angelo Scola

Christian martyrdom reveals the virus that is destroying the Middle East: the quest for victory at any price through the annihilation of the other. Distracted and narcissistically self-absorbed, Europe is now powerless.

 

Arab Christians: Makers of Novelty. With Muslims’ Support, Samir Khalil Samir

A look at the history of Christians in the Arab world shows a fruitful dialectic between rootedness in their own tradition and openness to other cultures. Today, as previously, however, such interation is only possible when Muslim regimes are open to otherness.

 

Arab Churches, Living Churches. But only if United, Pier Giorgio Gianazza

The tragic moment that the Middle Eastern Churches are currently living can become an opportunity for unity. Some practical matters need to be resolved alongside the thorny theological issues. The martyrs’ example can give a new impetus to this journey.

 

The Church of the East: Two Thousand Years of Martyrdom and Mission, Louis Sako

Currently targeted by ISIS, Christianity in Iraq goes back to the time of the apostles. From the fifteenth century onwards, its various branches have alternatingly established ties with Rome before reaching the current tri-partition. A division that equates to a slow death.

 

Copts at the Crossroads after the Islamist Takeover Bid, Christian Cannuyer

From the 1970s onwards, the Coptic community in Egypt has been the target of violence that reveals a chronic malaise. The community's future will depend on al-Sisi's ability to abandon the old power structures and construct a state founded on the rule of law.

 

Christians Victims of Sectarian Conflict. And of Themselves, Maria Laura Conte, Martino Diez

Lebanese Christians are being crushed by the conflict between Sunnis and Shi'ites. It has not reached open war yet but the denominational rivalries, the flow of refugees and the effects of the war in Syria are all putting the country's existence at risk.

 

Christians, First and Foremost, or Citizens? Both, Equally, Léna Gannagé

Eastern Christians oscillate between community belonging and national belonging. The Lebanese experience teaches us that only states founded on the rule of law can heal the conflict between these two identities and guarantee their survival in plural contexts. 

 

Muslims against Christianophobia, Muhammad Sammak

In June 2015, the Islamic association Maqāsid promoted the drafting of the Beirut Declaration on Religious Freedom. One of its drafters denounces the extremism that, in driving out the Christians, is destroying the Middle East.

 

ISIS or The Preferential Option for Terror, Michele Brignone

Behind the treatment reserved to Christian minorities by the Islamic State there hides a selective and delirious interpretation of Islam that is directed at presenting itself as the alternative to the West. Thus medieval theocracy espouses modern totalitarianism and gives itself over to the will of power.

 

The Middle East in a Denominational Cage, Hamit Bozarslan

The conception of power as private ownership has led to the collapse of societies. A turning point will come only with a political formula that recognises the citizenship rights and, at the same time, allows forms of representation for community spaces.

 

 

DOCUMENTS

 

Thinking (and Conversing), Using the Categories of the Other, Martino Diez

The Vizier and the Bishop Face to Face about the Trinity, Elias of Nisibis

The text of the impassioned conversation between Abū l-Qāsim al-Maghribī and Elias, a monk and Bishop of Nisibis, allows us to understand the valuable mediator's role played by eastern Christian theologians and philosophers who were able to explain their own faith by having recourse to the language of Islam.

 

 

REPORTAGE

 

Welcome to Mesopotäljie, the Middle-East in Sweden, Maria Laura Conte

With whole communities of Christians fleeing Iraq and Syria, a bit of Middle East has been transplanted in Sweden where, amidst surprising opportunities and risks of "rejection", something new is being born: a rediscovery, on the part of the refugees, of their traditions but also the rise of new challenges.

 

 

BOOKS REVIEWS

 

Iraq’s Christians: the History of a Tempered Faith, Andrea Pacini

The bimillenary story of the Christian communities in Mesopotamia.

 

Risks and Reductions in Muslim-Christian Dialogue, Ines Peta

An A to Z of the doctrinal difficulties in interreligious dialogue.

 

“God has Chosen You:” Plumbing the Jihadists’ Hearts, Maria Laura Conte

Boys and girls who fall victim to Islamist recruiting: from enlistment to the return home.

 

From an Imagined East to the Real East, Chiara Pellegrino

A book-interview with Olivier Roy that retraces his intellectual and human path.

 

There is more to the Arab Mind than Just Islam, Michele Brignone

A journey through the complexities of a still insufficiently explored culture.

 

Cinema remains Silent if Reality surpasses Science Fiction, Emma Neri

When Hollywood does not understand what is happening, it shows up badly.

 

 

 

COLOPHON

Year 11 N.22 December 2015

 

Editor-in-chief
Maria Laura Conte


Scientific Editor
Martino Diez 

Managing Editor
Michele Brignone

Editorial staff
Chiara Pellegrino

 

Editorial Consultants 
Rifaat Bader
Marco Bardazzi 
Bernardo Cervellera 
Camille Eid
Rafic Greiche
Claudio Lurati 

 

Graphic Design and Layout 
Massimiliano Frangi 

 

English translation 
Catharine De Rienzo
and Translated Agency

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by Marsilio Editori spa in Venice
First edition: December 2015

Printed by Logo s.r.l., Borgoricco (Padova) for Marsilio Editori in Venice

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