"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lebanon, Christians, Under Islamist Threat

2016-04-25 | Shadi Khalloul, Act for America

Recent upheavals in Lebanon are making local Christians communities worry about their existence as heirs and descendants of the first Christians. Christians in the Middle East now are facing a huge genocide -- similar to the Christian genocide the followed the Islamic conquest of the Middle East in the 7th century A.D.

Islamic jihadist groups are threatening Lebanese Christians and demanding that they submit to Islam. Lebanon's Christians, descendants of Aramaic Syriacs, were the majority in the country a mere 100 years ago.

The demand for Christians to convert to Islam was one of the declarations issued by ISIS and other Islamic groups hiding in the mountainous border between Syria and Lebanon.

Saad Hariri, a Saudi-backed Sunni Muslim politician and the son of assassinated Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, recently invited every Lebanese party to his office to sign a document confirming that Lebanon is an Arab state. Arab state equals Islamic laws, as with all members of the Arab League. Why is it so important to Hariri or to the Sunni and Islamic world to include Lebanon as an Arab state and cancel its current name as a Lebanese state only?

And why do the Arab states, including the Palestinian Authority (PA), refuse to recognize Israel, with its 80% Jewish majority, as Jewish state, while at the same time trying to impose the definition of an Arab state on Lebanon, whose population is 35% non-Arab Christians?

There are approximately one million Syriac Maronites left in Lebanon, as well as another 700,000 Christians belonging to other churches. In addition, more than eight million Syriac Maronites live in the diaspora. These eight million Christians fled over the centuries because of persecution by Muslims, often conquerors of the Christian homeland. Lebanon was never a strictly Arab or Muslim. But that is the step that Saad Hariri, as a milder face of the expansionist ISIS ideology, would have us take -- under the guise of a modern, moderate, Sunni secular front.

Isis Threat to Crucify Lebanon's Christians as Islamic State Prepare to Cross Syria Border
By Jack Moore for IBTimes
September 30, 2014

Christians in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley have begun arming themselves in preparation for an Isis (now known as the Islamic State) offensive as it seeks to expand its territorial control outside of Syria.

Up to 3,000 militants from the Islamic State and other jihadists occupy the mountain range between Lebanon and Syria near the Sunni town of Arsal.

As IS seek to grab land outside of the mountain caves and farms they currently control, Christian volunteers have now created village defence forces to protect against the Sunni militants who have taken up to 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage.

"We are a minority and we are under threat by the jihadists," Rifaat Nasrallah, a commander of the volunteer guards in the Greek Catholic town of Ras Baalbek, said.

"It wasn't the idea of anyone in particular," Nasrallah says of the formation of defence units. "The whole village felt in danger so we all agreed it was necessary."

"We don't shoot if we see someone or something moving in the mountains," said one of the watchmen. "We just call the Army and they investigate."

Ras Baalbek has a population of 15,000 and is separated from the flashpoint town of Arsal by a range of hills.

"Imagine if Islamic State makes it into Ras Baalbek and they crucify a Christian. It will set Lebanon alight," a western diplomat in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Times.

There are approximately 2.4m Chrisitans in Lebanon, 20pc of the total population.

The terror group has continued to crack down on religious freedom since the announcement of its Islamic "caliphate", straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The Sunni jihadists have taken over Iraq's largest Christian town of Qaraqosh causing thousands of residents to flee towards Kurdistan region.

They also issued an ultimatum to Christians in the city of Mosul to convert to their radical form of Islam or be forced to either pay a tax, leave the city or be harmed for refusal to convert.

The city is now reportedly empty of Christians as hundreds of families fled following the ultimatum of death or a historic contract ‒ known as "dhimma"‒ where non-Muslims can receive protection if they pay a fee known as a "jizya".

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