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First World War shows us there are no easy human or Christian answers to life

March 1st, 2014 Jill Posted in Christianity, Conflict Comments Off

By Michael Trimmer, Christian Today

"In what way should the Church be distinctive?" That was the question Canon Alan Wilkinson was trying to answer when he wrote his pioneering book The Church of England and the First World War.

Speaking at an event in Southwark Cathedral this week to promote the publication of an updated edition, Canon Wilkinson commented on the complexities of the Christian response to the First World War and how what happened then is in some ways still happening now.
 
The event's host, Southwark's Sub Dean Bruce Sanders said of the book: "There is not a page, not a paragraph, not a single sentence or line that does not bear the hallmarks of meticulous research."
 
Mr Saunders also called the book an important contribution to the exploration of the Christian experience, showing how different Christians in the period 1914 to 1918 dealt with "the tragic paradox of trying to live out the Kingdom in the world we find ourselves in".
 
Alongside trying to untangle some small part of the Church's need to be distinctive, Canon Wilkinson also wanted to dispel what he called the myth of the "lions lead by donkeys" image of the war, the "Blackadder" idea of a futile conflict, uniquely terrible, and foolishly fought.
 
 
 
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The Anglican Church: Persevering in South Sudan

February 21st, 2014 Chris Sugden Posted in Conflict, News, Sudan Comments Off

Chris Sugden and Alice Madgwick, Evangelicals Now March 2014

Eruption of conflict

On 15th December 2013 gunfire erupted in Juba and led to a conflict that has raged throughout South Sudan for several weeks. Fleeing, fighting and bloodshed, reminiscent of the recent civil war, will carry long term consequences on the country’s development.

The current unrest began as a political struggle between forces loyal to President, Salvir Kiir, and those loyal to former vice-president, Riek Machar. Kiir accused Machar of an attempted coup whilst Machar blames Kiir for firing on forces loyal to the former vice president. Two opposing political groups have emerged and proceeded to battle one another particularly in Jonglei and Upper Nile states. Thousands of civilians have died and over 770,000 have fled their homes:

‘’ We spent all night running without sleep. We were so tired and thirsty, nowhere to get water. We slept in the bush; a lot of insects bitten us enormously. No showering for many days and wearing same clothes for the last seven days’’. NGO worker who fled Bor

Hundreds of thousands have fled to overcrowded camps where fears of food and water shortages are growing. "Number of civilians with acute & emergency food needs in SouthSudan has risen from 1 million b4 15 Dec to well over 3 million" (Tweet from UNOCHA South Sudan). As Kiir is of the dominant Dinka tribe and Machar a Nuer, there has been some ethnic-targeted violence. But it is believed the main cause of the conflict is political.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tony Blair is right – religious extremism sustains political conflict

January 27th, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict, Persecuted church, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From Cranmer

Writing in The Observer, Tony Blair has returned to a favoured theme:

So the challenge is clear. And it is one that could define the nature of peace and conflict in the first half of the 21st century. The battles of this century are less likely to be the product of extreme political ideology – like those of the 20th century – but they could easily be fought around the questions of cultural or religious difference.

He first articulated this view back in 2008 when he opened his Faith Foundation. He said then: "Religious faith will be of the same significance to the 21st Century as political ideology was to the 20th Century." The quotation used to appear in His Grace's sidebar, for it was theo-politically accurate, if not prophetic.

But when Tony Blair talks about the "ghastly roll call of terror attacks" caused by religious extremism in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Pakistan, he's not talking about those pesky Quakers. He throws down the gauntlet: "We can either see all of these acts of killing as separate – produced by various political contexts – or we can start to see the clear common theme and start to produce a genuine global strategy to deal with it."

And that "clear common theme" is "people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion".

Read here

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Confirmed: The United States Is the Chief Facilitator of Christian Persecution

January 26th, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict, Islam Comments Off

by Raymond Ibrahim, Christian Post

Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today. In other words, at this point, whenever the U.S. intervenes in an Islamic nation, Islamists come to power.

According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, "extreme persecution" (other designations are "severe," "moderate," and "sparse" persecution).
 
Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three-Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya-were "liberated" thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring "freedom fighters" against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled "terrorists."
 
The Syrian situation alone indicts U.S. foreign policy. According to Reuters:
 
Read here   
 
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Moving forward amid turmoil in South Sudan

January 23rd, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

From AID

Over the last four weeks, South Sudan has been subject once more to violence and unrest. Reports state that more than 1,000 have been killed and 200,000 have fled their homes. One local NGO worker writes:
 
”I thought things may change over time in South Sudan, but never through violence like this. We are all very tired.”
 
It is particularly tragic that this has happened over Christmas; as the rest of the world has been celebrating peace, goodwill and salvation, South Sudan and its people have been engulfed in turmoil and destruction.
 
Anglican International Development has a long-term vision for South Sudan, a country born out of devastating conflict. Working in close partnership with local churches, we are all too aware of the toll taken on ordinary people by instability. The safety of our local and international staff is paramount and we have therefore had to make judgments about how we can continue with our ongoing projects to reflect this. Thankfully, our projects are in stable areas of the country and, therefore, whilst the current situation makes it unwise to press forward with certain projects we are not unduly alarmed and continue to do all that we can until things are more stable. In particular, we are continuing to fundraise for projects.
No development project is a quick and easy solution to poverty, but each takes perseverance, hard work, hope and prayer. Anglican International Development will continue to persevere in South Sudan in accordance with our long-term vision.
 
How is the unrest affecting specific projects?
 
Read here
 
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What is going on in South Sudan?

January 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict, Sudan Comments Off

by Peter Run, MercatorNet

Another Rwanda seems to be in the making, but ethnicity is not the dominant factor.

Over the past few weeks, crisis has gripped the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, after an internal political conflict spilled into violence which has left thousands dead.
 
So far, there have been reports of mass graves, as well as one instance where rebel forces killed UN peacekeepers that would not let them get to the frightened civilians behind the gates of a UN compound.
 
These images are reminiscent of scenes from Hotel Rwanda. The conflict in South Sudan already shows patterns that we have seen in mass atrocities elsewhere: armed militias operating outside traditional military chains of command; forcible recruitment of civilians; and intimidation of the United Nations. It seems that the nation is falling apart, but what is actually behind the violence?
 
Timeline of events
 
Violence first broke out at the compound of South Sudanese president Salva Kiir on December 15 last year between soldiers loyal to him and those loyal to his former deputy, Riek Machar, who attempted to overthrow Kiir.
 
Within hours, the United Nations Mission in Juba became a refugee camp and its head, Hilde Johnson, was forced to express grave concerns. By December 17, the UN Security Council already had something coherent to say. A week later, it agreed to a peacekeeping reinforcement, deployable within 48 hours.
 
The UN Security Council’s reaction has been appropriately swift as has that of South Sudan’s African neighbours – Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, which are currently mediating a ceasefire deal and a roadmap to end the conflict in Ethiopia.
 
Read here
 
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Archbishop of South Sudan and Sudan appeals for help as thousands are affected by ongoing violence

January 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict, Persecuted church, Sudan Comments Off

From Anglican Alliance

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and called on the Anglican Communion to help communities in South Sudan respond to those displaced by the widespread violence that is continuing in the nation.

With fighting continuing in South Sudan, Most Reverend Dr Daniel Deng, Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan has written a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He calls for sustained prayer, for advocacy on an immediate peace process and for humanitarian support from across the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Daniel describes the desperate situation of conflict in which at least 1000 people – and likely many more – have lost their lives and over 200,000 people have been displaced.
 
He gives an account of his visit to Awerial to witness the situation for the communities displaced by intense fighting in Bor. Some are occupying churches and schools and others are living under trees.
 
Read here
 
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South Sudan rivals open ceasefire talks

January 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

From Al Jazeera

South Sudan's warring parties are holding preliminary meetings before the official start of negotiations in a bid to end nearly three weeks of conflict, Ethiopia's Foreign Ministry has said.

Dina Mufti, a spokesman for the ministry, said on Friday that representatives of the government and rebel groups were meeting in the country's capital, Addis Ababa. He said the meeting was necessary to bridge differences ahead of direct talks expected to start on Saturday.

Meanwhile, fighting intensified on the ground in South Sudan as the army moved on the rebel-held town of Bor, capital of Jonglei state.

"We have enough forces who will defeat the rebels within 24 hours," army spokesman Philip Aguer said amid reports of heavy battles involving tanks and artillery on the outskirts of Bor, which has already exchanged hands three times since fighting began in mid-December.

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Syria: the nun who exposed the stage-management of public opinion

September 21st, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

From Cranmer

Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib is a Roman Catholic nun who has lived and worked in Syria for 20 years. She is Mother Superior of St James' Monastery in Qara, and has compiled a comprehensive, compelling and persuasive report (download HERE) into the photographs and videos coming out of Syria being used by President Obama, David Cameron and François Hollande to justify punitive action against President Assad and his forces for the alleged use of chemical weapons.

Read the report for yourself, and make up your own mind: what follows here is mere summary. She evidences photographs and video footage which are being circulated as proof that the Syrian President used sarin gas on his own people. No one doubts that a lot of children died, yet only Mother Agnes appears to have asked why there are only piles of dead children. Where are all their parents? And why do the same bodies in the same clothes keep on cropping up in different locations?

Mother Agnes has been consistently outspoken about the atrocities committed by Western-backed Syrian 'rebels' against Christians and other minorities. Her reputation is considered impeccable, though she is routinely slandered in Western media. She said of the events of the morning of August 21st:

Read here

 

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Prayers for Syria

September 7th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

A Prayer for Reconciliation in Syria

God of history,

Witness of the struggles within families;

we pray for the divided family of Syria

as brother fights against brother,

and sister rejects sister.

We pray for those whose love of neighbour

has been destroyed in the bitterness of enmity.

May fear be submerged in compassion.

May distrust be diluted by hope,

as a vision of peace illuminates

darkened minds and hate-filled hearts.

We pray in the name of Christ,

our source of light and love. Amen.

Read here

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Syria’s al-Qaeda freedom fighters invade Christian village

September 5th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict, Persecuted church Comments Off

Syrian ChristiansFrom Cranmer

It has been tweeted out, but is grossly under-reported. As Presidents Obama and Hollande prepare to bomb the evil President Assad to kingdom come, those righteous Al-Qaeda freedom fighters have slaughtered a garrison of the regime's soldiers and were then somehow forced to invade the predominantly Christian village of Maloula. The report is patchy, but German intelligence doesn't seem to be able to intercept nuns' telephone conversations.

We know that the assault on Maloula was carried out by rebels from the Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group. Apparently one of their number blew himself up at a regime checkpoint at the entrance to the village. This suicide attack was followed by fighting between the 'rebels' and Assad's forces.

The information has come from a nun in the village. The 'rebels' have now seized the checkpoint, disabled two tanks and an armoured personnel carrier, and killed eight regime soldiers. She tells us they have taken over the Safir hotel on top of the mountain overlooking the village, and are firing shells from there. Assad's military is trying to repel the invasion. "It's a war," she said. "It has been going from 6am in the morning."

Some 80 people from the village have taken refuge in the convent, which houses 13 nuns and 27 orphans. Maloula, a mountain village some 60 kilometres northeast of Damascus, is home to about 2,000 residents, some of whom still speak a version of Aramaic, the ancient language which would have been spoken by Jesus.

Under the protection of the mystical Shi'a-Alawites, Syria's ethnic and religious minorities have been relatively free to live and worship. This will not be the case under the Sunni-Wahhabis. We know that Assad has stockpiles of chemical weapons. He may have used them, but it is by no means certain that he has. What is certain is that the 'rebels' which the US and France are about to assist are itching to get their righteous hands upon them. Syria's nuns do not want to be bombed: a group have written:

Read here

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William Hague: We cannot pull up the drawbridge and think no harm will ever come to us

September 4th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict, Gay Activism Comments Off

Foreign Secretary William Hagueby Sarah Sands, London Evening Standard

[...]  He cites the work we have done in stabilising Somalia and how Britain has “moved the dial” in drawing attention to sexual violence in conflict areas. On September 24 there will be a major meeting of nations in New York to discuss this. Hague also supports tackling Russia on the subject of gay rights.

“It is important to us. Britain cannot have a foreign policy without a conscience and I don’t believe it is ultimately in the nature of British people to act without a conscience. I wrote a book about William Wilberforce and the abolition of the slave trade, which was not in the self-interest of Britain, but was right.

“Britain is most comfortable with itself when we are saving lives, standing up for human rights overseas. So we should do that in conversation with Russia and other countries. It would say something terrible about Britain if we were reluctant to do that. We are one of the world’s oldest democracies. We are clear about our values. We must not retreat.”

Read here

Read also:  David Cameron issues challenge to Vladmir Putin on gay rights by Joe Murphy, Evening Standard


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So who still thinks Israel is the root of Middle East problems?

September 3rd, 2013 Jill Posted in Anti Semitism, Conflict, Israel Comments Off

By Dominic Lawson, Independent

Forget the massacre of thousands in Syria and Egypt, whether by chemical weapons or more conventional methods of mass slaughter. The Middle Eastern issue galvanising some of our musical mega-stars and their followers, even now, is the treatment by Israel of Palestinians. A fortnight ago the violinist Nigel Kennedy told the audience at a Proms concert that Israel should “get rid of apartheid” – his tendentious reference to the treatment of the Arab minority within that country.
 
Kennedy’s remarks were cheered by many in the audience at the Royal Albert Hall, but the BBC cut them from its later television broadcast of the concert, allegedly following a complaint by Lady Deech, a former governor of the corporation. The London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign fizzed into action, declaring that “ suppressing free speech and political dissent is the norm for state broadcasters under dictatorships. It is worrying when we start to see this kind of suppression being practiced by our own state broadcaster.”

This remarkable suggestion that the BBC was acting as state censor on behalf of government (rather than merely demonstrating its own determination not to see its great music festival turned into a platform for contentious political slogans) is an example of how the state of Israel makes so many people lose all sense of perspective.

Read here


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Syrian refugees flee into Iraq as the crisis gets worse

August 30th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

By Saman Majed, Independent

As the Syrian conflict grows ever deadlier for the country’s civilians, some two million people, a tenth of the population, have now fled as refugees, half of them children. Since mid-August, a human tide of some 46,250 refugees have poured into northern Iraq. 

SAMAN from Christian Aid's Iraqi partner REACH. REACH has been providing support to refugees since the start on the crisis. Saman reports back from meeting refugee families along the border and those seeking refuge in Iraq.

The border between Iraq and Western Syria has been closed since mid-May. In recent weeks, however, the numbers of people building up on the Syrian side had grown so large that eventually the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq set up a pontoon bridge across the River Tigris. Around 42,000 refugees crossed in the first week alone.

Many families have arrived on foot, after travelling through mountainous desert, exhausted and hungry. Some had waited for weeks to cross, in temperatures of up to 40 degress; they hadn’t washed for days, their skin was burnt from the sun and their clothes were worn out.

They have no money left – there is no employment anymore in the areas where they lived – and water and electricity has been cut off in many places. They are fleeing not just the fighting but a break down in security generally with refugees telling us of instances of rape and kidnapping too.

Read here


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UK Muslims divided over Syria intervention

August 29th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict, Islam Comments Off

Lord AhmedBy Robert Booth, Guardian

View from Britain's mosques, Islamic charities and political circles shows conflicting levels of distrust about western motives

British Muslims are in an anguished position over Syria, with profound distrust ofwestern military intervention clashing with a desire to see the demise of President Assad, leaders of the 2.7m strong community said on Wednesday.
 
"I was in Oldham yesterday talking to a large crowd and people usually think, here we go again, another Muslim nation being attacked," said Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, one of the UK's most senior Muslim politicians. "But here they see it is right for Syria's chemical weapons and air strike capability to be dismantled. People know that there's a real problem and that 100,000 people have been killed. People can see millions of children being moved and being bombed. I have been talking to one charity working in Jordan and they have been dealing with women who have been raped and that is a very sensitive issue."
 
"On every occasion America has gone to war it has used the same argument that it will be selective," added Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, chairman of the East London Mosque. "It doesn't wash with the Muslim community. By interfering in Syria it is going to antagonise Iran, Russia and China and open a Pandora's box that will take Syria into a darker age that will leave the Muslim world further divided."
 
He said some Muslims had voiced a suspicion that the timing of the west's ratcheting up of tension was diverting attention away from the situation in Egypt, where there has been a military takeover from the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood.
 
Read here
 
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Christians may be bombed, for that is convention. Muslims may not be gassed, for that is taboo

August 29th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict, Persecuted church Comments Off

From Cranmer

While the Prime Minister does his parliamentary arithmetic and establishes that there's no majority appetite for immediately launching cruise missiles into Damascus, the Archbishop of Canterbury focuses on the plight of Syria's Christians, who are already paying the price for being strangers in a foreign land.

They have, of course, been there since.. well, the time of Christ. But so have they in Bethlehem, Benghazi, Homs and Cairo. A century ago, Christians constituted 20 per cent of the regional population; now it is nearer five per cent, and falling. Each time 'the West' intervenes, it is the indigenous Christians who pay the price – often with their lives. We crushed Saddam; the Christians paid. We ejected Gaddafi; the Christians paid. We supported ousting Mubarak; the Christians paid. After Assad..? Well, Archbishop Justin has already spoken:

"It's absolutely clear that Christians in Syria are being persecuted," he said, speaking at 'Save Syria', hosted by Open Doors last month at the Church of England's General Synod in York.

Yes, even before the heinous use of chemical weapons captivated the world's attention, Syria's Christians were 'being chased out in large numbers'. But HM Government was not overly concerned about that. And by 'chased out', the Archbishop meant systematically slaughtered – one by one; cleansed utterly from the region by warring factions of Islamists. But the Prime Minister was content to 'stand by' and 'do nothing'.

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Pope Francis, other Christian leaders condemn Western invention in Syria: warn of ‘world war’

August 29th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

By Hilary White, LifeSite News

Pope Francis, as well as other Christian leaders in the Middle East and around Europe are sounding the alarm of a possible global conflict should the US and other western powers launch an attack on Syria.

In an interview with Vatican Radio yesterday, the Syrian Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, said that armed intervention in Syria could unleash a “world war.”
 
“If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned,” he said.
 
The comments follow an urgent appeal by Pope Francis this weekend for the world’s powers not to intervene in the escalating Syrian conflict. On Sunday, Pope Francis called on the international community to do everything they could to avoid military action, calling for them “to be more sensitive to this tragic situation and make every effort to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to a war that sows destruction and death.”
 
“The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease," he said during the Angelus. "It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue.”
 
Bishop Audo added to Vatican Radio, “We hope that the Pope’s call for real dialogue between the warring parties to find a solution can be a first step to stop the fighting.”
 
Read here
 
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Military action in Syria would spark Middle East war, warns Lord Carey

August 28th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

Lord Careyby John Bingham, Telegraph

Opposition in the Church to military action in Syria is growing after the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey warned it could lead to a regional war.

Military action in Syria would spark Middle East war, warns Lord Carey
Opposition in the Church to military action in Syria is growing after the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey warned it could lead to a regional war.
 
He said that despite a sense of "moral outrage" at the use of chemical weapons by the regime, armed intervention would drag the UK into a war which could engulf the whole of the Middle East.

And he voiced surprise that David Cameron is even contemplating a military response after slashing the armed forces to a "pitiful degree".

In voicing outright opposition to an attack, Lord Carey went further than the current Archbishop, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who urged MPs not to "rush to judgment" and consider the wider impact across the Muslim world.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Archbishop Welby warned of potential "unforeseeable" consequences of stepping in.

Lord Carey, who is currently abroad, said: "I am not in favour of the UK entering into this conflict.

"I share the PM's sense of moral outrage at a government using chemical weapons against its own, or any other people.

"But intervention will only drag us into a war that could engulf the entire Middle East."

He added: "I am surprised that the Government is even contemplating intervention when, for economic reasons, it has cut our forces down to a pitiful degree."

Read here

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The Road to Bombing Damascus

August 28th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict, Islam Comments Off

From Cranmer

[...]  So, in the words of Jean Valjean, if we speak to Assad with cruise missiles, we risk condemning hundreds of innocents to death (for missiles are just as indiscriminate as nerve gas, and the Christians are bound to be systematically 'cleansed' in retribution). We also risk the possibility of Assad turning his formidable Russian-stoked firepower on Israel, in the hope of widening the conflict and uniting the Ummah against the pariah Jewish State.

Yet, if we stay silent, hundreds and possibly thousands more Syrian women and children are damned.

'By faith Abel, though dead, still speaks,' wrote the author to the Hebrews (11:4), alluding to Genesis where we are told that Abel's blood 'cries out from the ground' (4:10). The reason he still speaks is that God did not heed the cry: He did not exact from Cain the full satisfaction that nature demanded – He sent him to live in exile. alienated from his culture and shielded from judgment. Every judgment passed in Cain's new civilisation leaves Abel crying out: its justice will never be true justice, but a form of satisfaction intertwined with bouts of of guilt and regret.

Offended society cries out for satisfaction, and is damned with guilt when it acts. The mark of Cain is symbolic of our perpetual disquiet about a so-called civilisation which depends upon uncivilised violence as a means of satisfying the cry for justice. We cannot let Abel remain unvindicated.

Syria is a killing field. But it is not our civilisation: it belongs to the children of Ishmael and the followers of Mohammed. It is not clear why other Muslim nations are prepared to 'stand by' and 'do nothing' while their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered by their brothers and sisters. Why is the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation not leading a response to this? Where are the declarations of condemnation? Why are they waiting for a display of 'Western' power and might?

For the 'West' to command moral assent, it must embody a formal commitment to righting wrongs. Barack Obama and David Cameron appear persuaded of the fact that Assad has committed a grievous crime, and so must be punished. They have the intelligence report: we do not. And so the economic powers will bomb the ancient City of Damascus – irrespective of whatever contrary voices are raised in Parliament – in order to defend honour, justice and freedom. Innocents will die horrific deaths, but 'collateral damage' is to be expected; it is justifiable.

Abel cries out from the ground, and must be avenged.

Not in His Grace's name.

Read also:  Please Do What You Can Now to Halt this Rush to War by Peter Hitchens

Syria: we're being guilted into a war against our better interests and our higher reason by Tim Stanley, Telegraph

Syria: I hope I can support the Government tomorrow, but I'm not yet persuaded to do so by Norman Tebbit, Telegraph

The gathering storm by David Lindsay

Tony ‘Yo’ Blair on Syria and morality by Alexander Boot

Assad is a devil but his opponents are all demons too by Peter Mullen, Cranmer

Self-serving posturing over Syria  by Melanie Phillips

 

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Welby warns against ‘rushing to judgment’ over Syria intervention

August 28th, 2013 Jill Posted in Conflict Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned against "rushing to judgment” over military action in Syria insisting that it could have “unforeseeable consequences” across the entire Muslim world.

The Most Rev Justin Welby insisted that MPs must ask themselves whether they are “sure” about the facts on the ground before acting amid a “really delicate and dangerous situation”.

Archbishop Welby, who spent several years promoting reconciliation in war zones in Africa and the Middle East, insisted that there were “numerous intermediate steps” between doing nothing and full regime change in Syria which could be considered.

But speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he acknowledged that there was no “good answer” to the crisis in Syria and that a simple solution “just doesn’t exist”.

Speaking from his own experience after touring the Middle East to meet Christian and Muslim leaders recently, he spoke of a mood of mounting fear which was “beyond description and horrible”.

There was a “tangible” sense that the region was going through a “terribly, terribly dangerous time”, he added.

The Archbishop emphasised that he detected no sense that politicians were “slavering” to “unleash the dogs of war”.

But he urged them to bear in mind the “inter-linkedness of everything that happens” in the Middle East and the risk of actions in one area having serious consequences far away.

Read here

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