The director of the Al-Liqa Center for Inter-Religious Research of Bethlehem, Dr. Geries S. Khoury, said this week Christians in the Middle East are “a solid bridge between the East and the West” as they share both Arabic and Western tradition.
Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, Khoury explained that Christians in this region are familiar with the Arabic-Muslim environment in which they live. At the same time, the share with the West certain fundamental beliefs and they understand the Western mentality better than Muslims.
Khoury said he was concerned that the implementation of the UN resolutions in the Middle East would only lead to continued pressure and insecurity for Christians. Therefore, he asked the West “not to treat the Israelis and other countries differently.”
He said he believed the disappearance of Christians from the Middle East would make life more difficult for Muslims and for Western nations.
In speaking about Christians in the Holy Land, Khoury said he believed in the “unique mission and vocation” of those who live there, and in addition he is convinced that “amidst their problems, unhappiness and sufferings, Christians will continue in the future to bear witness to the message of Christ.”
“The Church in the Holy Land has never known peace since the time of Jesus,” he said. “Although it has been said many times that Christians will soon disappear there, there are still Christians in the Holy Land,” he added.
“The real problem in the Middle East is that we still don’t know each other well enough,” Khoury said. “The people are hostile to what seems foreign to them,” he explained.