Jeremy Moodey, CEO of BibleLands:
“It is a Western conceit that all Arab Christian communities are persecuted minorities and need our help to save them from Islamic fundamentalism. Most Middle East Christians are deeply embedded in their societies, with roots which pre-date even the rise of Islam. Indeed, they are closer to the Oriental origins of Christianity than many Western Christians. They have lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbours for centuries. The Arab Spring has led to a resurgence of Islamism, but it is not inevitable that this will lead to persecution of religious minorities. The overtures of the new Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt to the country’s Coptic community are evidence that the new pluralism could benefit not harm the region’s Christians.”
“In a sense, it suits us Western Christians to see our co-religionists in the Middle East as ‘victims’. In this way we can live out, vicariously, our own fears of Islamic fundamentalism. But this is not how Middle East Christians always see themselves. Their rootedness in their communities means that they have always been outwardfacing, expressing their faith and relating to their Muslim neighbours through social action. They are living examples of “salt and light”, in the very land where Jesus used these powerful metaphors, and we Christians in the West should encourage them in this ministry.”
BibleLands is a non-governmental, inter-denominational charity supporting humanitarian projects in the Middle East. For almost 160 years it has been working to improve the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and it has extensive experience and expertise in this region. BibleLands supports over 50 partner organisations Egypt, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine which are Christian-led but who provide care for all those in need, regardless of faith or nationality.