by Sheila Liaugminas, MercatorNet:
I’ve known Maronite leader Monsignor Sharbel Maroun for many years, talked with him on radio in 2006 after Telelumiere was nearly destroyed in the Lebanon War that summer, and many times before and after then about the ongoing work of unity and mutual respect of Christians and Muslims in the Middle East. He just returned from Lebanon recently, we talked again this week, and he is despondent. What he said is captured well here.
Catholics in the Middle East are being persecuted and slaughtered while the world watches and remains silent, said the leader of an Eastern rite Catholic community.
“It is a very heartbreaking situation, affecting everybody but mainly Christians,” said Msgr. Sharbel Maroun, pastor of St. Maron Maronite Parish in Minneapolis. “The Middle East is an erupting volcano, causing so many people to be wounded, displaced, injured and killed. There is a wave of persecution — I think it is a systematic persecution — that the church hasn’t seen since the early ages.”…
“It is devastating that the international community is just watching, doing nothing,” Msgr. Maroun said.
Several weeks ago, Christians were told to get out or be killed, and the international community said nothing and did nothing.
“I am talking about the international community in general, including the super powers,” he said. “By not doing anything, you are as guilty as those who are killing Christians. This is plain English.”
Msgr. Maroun said it is similar to the silence of the world when Jews were persecuted, rounded up and murdered wholesale in Nazi Germany.
“The Christians have been appealing, crying, begging the world to do something about this situation in the Middle East,” Msgr. Maroun said.
Those three statements tie together some important pleas by other leaders and leading voices.
Consider them in reverse order.
Pope Francis, other Vatican representatives and several Patriarchs have appealed to the United Nations and the international community to intervene in the most dangerous places for minorities, in what is clearly a sweep of maniacal genocide.
Some Jewish leaders see with clarity history repeating itself, and have cried out about the silence as it unfolds in sheer, graphic, and now widely known brutality. Like Ronald Lauder in the New York Times, asking Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?