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No simple category for 'Arab Spring,' European Church officials conclude

September 21, 2012

After a 3-day meeting in Malta, representatives of justice-and-peace commissions from the European episcopal conferences have issued a statement cautioning against an overly simple interpretation of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

The unrest that has swept the Arab world is a “complex phenomenon” that cannot be quickly categorized, the European Church officials said. While the uprisings were motivated primarily by a desire for greater democracy and an end to government corruption, the statement said, Europeans should “respect the right of other nations to define democracy in accordance with their traditions and religious beliefs.”

The results of the Arab Spring uprisings have also been mixed, the statement observed. While there has been some movement toward democracy, in many Arab nations “hope is giving way to frustration as progress slows down and dreams of a better future fail to materialize.”


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