Thursday, April 4, 2013

Orthodox anti-Sectarianism in Lebanon

Read the whole article here.

The Non-Sectarian Sect

by Samuel Noble


For the Orthodox of Syria and Lebanon, now is perhaps the most challenging period since the anti-Christian pogroms of 1860 that began the process of emigration from the Levant resulting in the majority of the world’s Arab Christians today living in the Americas and Australia. Fears of Islamist rule in Syria loom on the horizon, but there is little realistic hope that the defeat or removal of the Baathist government would actually succeed in establishing any sort of government that could put an end to the vortex of violence engulfing that country. Christians, Syria’s most vulnerable minority, often have little choice other than to seek refuge wherever they can. In Lebanon too, emigration brought on by political and economic uncertainty is a serious threat to the long-term survival of the Orthodox community. These challenges and anxieties have led to much discussion as well as certain concrete, controversial proposals for political changes purportedly aimed at strengthening the Orthodox community’s position in Lebanon. At the heart of all such discussions is a single question: can the Orthodox maintain their traditional identity as the “non-sectarian sect” or do challenges within a sectarian system require sectarian solutions?

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