Thursday, August 10, 2017

Nour al-Sharq interviews Carol Saba

Arabic original here.

The lawyer Carol Saba, an expert in the affairs of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, told the program Waqfa wa-Mawqif, "Christians, especially the Orthodox, must regain their national role and establish a partnership of life and citizenship."

He spoke to Léa Adel Mehmari.

Commenting on the gathering of Eastern Catholic patriarchs, the lawyer Carol Saba, an expert in the affairs of the Antiochian Orthodox Church and a close advisor to Patriarch John X, observed that, "The crisis of Middle Eastern Christianity is a crisis of decline whose roots go back to the start of the transformations in the Arab Middle East in the early twentieth century. Where once the Christians formed the core of the thinkers and engines of the Arab Nahda that heralded a promising future for the Arab world, today they have arrived at a crisis of decline that gradually grew over the course of the twentieth century alongside the rise of the crisis of the state and the crisis of governance in Arab societies. The Christian role gradually receded on account of the rise of various political radicalisms in the Arab world, from a concern for an active Christian 'presence' in Arab societies to a concern for preserving 'existence' and abdicating from every national role to the point of decline, insularity and seeking protection."

Carol Saba's spoke during his appearance on the program Waqfa wa-Mawqif and said, "Despite this path of regression and its consequences of frustration and emigration, there remain the writings of Christian thinkers like Georges Khodr, Youakim Moubarac, Gregoire Haddad and others to point to the necessity of arriving at Arab systems of governance based on the civil state which separates religion from the state without separating it from society, so that it can be a society that embraces an active Christian presence in the Middle East."

According to his analysis of the current situation of growing sectarianism in our Arab societies and the repercussions of the rise of religious radicalism, Christians, especially the Orthodox, must "regain their national role and the initiative and break into public affairs with enlightened ideas in order to overcome the state of rampant sectarianism and to partnership of life and partnership of citizenship that makes everyone equal in terms of rights and responsibilities and which protects by law all elements of our Arab societies. Only the civil state that allows everyone to preserve their specificities can prevent the emigration and hemorrhaging of Middle Eastern Christians and make Christians secure here in their land, as they are one of the historical elements of this region."

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