Vatican says world ignores Christians in Mideast
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON and MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS, Associated Press Writers Victor L. Simpson And Menelaos Hadjicostis, Associated Press Writers – Sun Jun 6, 2:03 pm ET
NICOSIA, Cyprus – The Vatican said Sunday that the international community is ignoring the plight of Christians in the Middle East, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and political instability in Lebanon have forced thousands to flee the region.
A working paper released during Pope Benedict XVI's pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome in October also cites the "extremist current" unleashed by the rise of "political Islam" as a threat to Christians.
The paper said that the line between religion and politics is blurred in Muslim countries, "relegating Christians to the precarious position of being considered non-citizens, despite the fact that they were citizens of their countries long before the rise of Islam."
"The key to harmonious living between Christians and Muslims is to recognize religious freedom and human rights," it said.
In his final Mass in Cyprus on Sunday, Benedict said he was praying that the October meeting will focus the attention of the international community "on the plight of those Christians in the Middle East who suffer for their beliefs."
He appealed for an "urgent and concerted international effort to resolve the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, especially in the Holy Land, before such conflicts lead to greater bloodshed."
The problem-the ASrtabs have 00000 intention of solving it while letting Israel survive.