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Maronite Patriarch warns of 'Arab Winter'

October 25, 2011

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai fears that the current wave of unrest in the Middle East could cause new difficulties for the Christian minority in the region.

Pointing to the example of Iraq, where Christians have become the focus of violence and intimidation, the Lebanese prelate warned that the same could happen in other neighboring countries. Patriarch Rai has drawn criticism from American and European policy-makers by expressing concern that the “Arab Spring” uprising in Syria could be dangerous to Christians there.

The Maronite Patriarch calls for caution about the uprisings in the Islamic world, saying that they could lead to civil war or usher in “regimes that are even more fundamentalist.” If that happens, he says, “this will not be a ‘spring.’ It will rather be a ‘winter.’”


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