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This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-6-3 08:24|
More than 500,000 Iraqi Christians fled their country when Saddam was toppled by Coalition Forces, which in turn were replaced by fundamentalist Shiite extremists, and where did they go to for the most part? Syria. Now that Syria itself is in turmoil, the 1.4 million Syrian Christians, of the Greek Orthodox Catholic type, find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. Most Syrian Christians support Assad because compared to the new rulers-wannabe of Syria, the Assad regime had given them more freedoms, more rights, including to employment and education, than Iraq, Iran or Saudi Arabia. Many are fleeing to Lebanon or Jordan, but the welcome is thin to non-existent, as these are themselves Muslim countries.
Western Europe is Roman Catholic, and has little sympathy for the Eastern Orthodox Catholic churches, siding with the Muslims in the Bosnian War before, and now, with the Syrian War, against these Byzantine Christians.
To the average Syian Christian, however, the limited democracy under Assad looks ten times more preferable than the strict Islamic laws that the rebels are enforcing on them. Even Turkey, which used to espouse secular democracy being above Islamic law, is turning back the clock and restricting alcohol for instance, and is now embroiled in nationwide unrest due to its plans to turn a park lined with trees into a barrack lined with guns, which the people suspect could be an attempt to revive the Ottoman Empire, capital of which used be Damascus, prior to its final collapse. That Western Christian churches have shown little sympathy or support for the Eastern Orthodox Catholics in Syria is understandable. Analogous to the Islamic schism between Sunni and Shia, the Christians in Syria are caught in between the Roman and the Eastern Orthodox Catholic age-old rivalry. The popular unrest in Turkey reflects the tensions between the Arabs who evicted Turkey out of Damascus, and the Turks whom they displaced. Add to this the tensions between UK and France on the one hand, and Germany and Austria on the other hand, and Syria begins to look more and more like a powder keg with many, not one, fuses.
Likewise, the Coptic Christians in Egypt have been ignored by the Western powers, even as they supported Sunni fundamentalists against the secular power of Mubarak.
China, in reading between the lines Western news reports of events happening in the Middle East, cannot assume that the conflict is restricted to between the Sunni and Shiites, or between the secular and the fundamentalist Islamic governments, but also between the Western Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholic churches, the latter being based in Russia. Without an understanding of why non-Roman Catholic Christians are being thrown to the lions, there can be no real understanding of the dynamics of the forces at play in the region. It is almost as if history is now being written backwards toward a black hole so to speak, at fast speed. As if the world has entered a religious or social event horizon from which not only there is no turning back, but in which clocks run backwards.
In China's search for stability and continuity, striking a lasting friendship with the United States, if possible at all, may not just be a trophy to celebrate about, but a last chance to keep this event horizon from closing up forever, leading all mankind into a Dark Age of Dark Ages, that is starting to swallow up this ancient cradle of civilization, and threatens to swallow up all its more technologically advanced offsprings, inevitably and inexorably as well.