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Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem: US finding of genocide against Christians comes too late

March 22, 2016

Archbishpo Fouad Twal, the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, has taken issue with the US announcement that a genocidal campaign against Christians is taking place in the Middle East.

"The statement comes too late, when everything has already happened," said the archbishop. "Everyone has either escaped or are dead." Other Christian leaders in the region-- such as Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai and Syrian Archbishop Jacque Hindoo-- have made similar statements.

Archbishop Twal said that Europe and the US "reacted too late" to the bloodshed in the Middle East. "One must recall the consequences of certain military interventions," he added. "If it is peace that you want, then bring peace into the homes of others, not war."

When questioned about the claim that Syrian rebels were funded by the West in order to oust an oppressive dictatorship, Archbishop Twal replied by asking why the regime in Syria was regarded as more repressive than that of Saudi Arabia. "Different standards are adopted with regard to human rights if countries are allies of the West," he said.

While there is "no magic solution" that could eliminate the threat of the Islamic State, the archbishop said, the long-term cause of peace in the region requires action to end injustice and to curb illegal arms trafficking.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Terri11 - Mar. 22, 2016 11:33 PM ET USA

    Better late than never? The Catholic Church doesn't move all that quickly either sometimes.....

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 22, 2016 9:37 PM ET USA

    The U.S. government and USCCB jump on board now that it is politically safe to do so. Deftly dodging another imaginary bullet.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 22, 2016 6:03 PM ET USA

    Archbishop Twal is right. Under Assad, monster that he is, Christians have at least been allowed to practice their faith. And in Saudi Arabia? Dream on.