Cardinal Rai: Christians always pay the highest price in Mideast conflicts

2013-08-23 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Rai, says Christians always pay the highest price when conflicts erupt in Middle East countries such as Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Cardinal Rai also said that outside countries, especially in the West but also elsewhere, are helping to foment these conflicts.

Listen to the report (see text below) by Susy Hodges:

"Speaking in an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Rai says the situation in the Middle East is becoming more and more critical as each day passes. He said whenever a conflict breaks out in the Middle East, whenever chaos ensues, Muslim groups attack the minority Christian community, as if they were always the scapegoat.

The Lebanese Patriarch said all Christians are asking for is security and stability and spoke of how throughout the Arab world Christians respect the institutions, the authorities and the constitution. Thanks to the presence of us Christians and our daily life in all these Arab countries, he said, we have created a certain moderation in the Muslim world. Speaking about the tensions between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the Christian community in Egypt, Cardinal Rai said it was a known fact that once in power, the Muslim Brotherhood were seeking to introduce Shariah law. Certainly, he said, the Christians are against this and want a reformed and democratic Egypt, an Egypt that knows how to respect human rights.

When asked how he sees the future, Cardinal Rai spoke of his belief that there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests. There’s also, he added, a plan to exacerbate as much as possible the inter-confessional conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The Maronite Patriarch said he had already written to the Pope to express his concern about this issue on two occasions."