AINA – 31/1/19
Paris (AINA) — The French aid organization SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has called for the creation of a State Secretariat devoted to the care of the Christians of the Oriental East. Hungary could be considered as a model for the establishment of such a State Secretariat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says Charles de Meyer, President, and Benjamin Blanchart, Chairman and Director-General of SOS Chrétiens d’Orient, in a statement released on their Website.
The statement also urges their community of supporters “to maintain a firm commitment to Eastern Christians,” as the “freedom to practice one’s faith, the defense of the integrity of their traditions, and the continuity of their role in the state and society are often at great risk.”
To effectively fight against the disappearance of Eastern Christianity in the Middle East, the organisations proposes several recommendations, emphasizing that the “Christian communities were at the origin of the creation of many of the States in which they live, and in other cases were always involved.”
With respect to the Christian in the Middle Eastm the original French statementadds:
We invite the French government to create a Sate Secretariat by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Eastern Christians or Christians persecuted. Elsewhere, as in Hungary, this position for sometimes exists. It would allow France to be faithful to its vocation of maternal support to our elder brothers in faith, while refraining from interfering in the sovereign choices of the peoples and the Eastern nations. We emphasize that this government has a majority of qualified people to perform this function.
Such a State Secretariat should:
- Advocate, particularly at major international conferences, for the states of the Middle East to accelerate the transformation of their institutions and societies towards full equality of rights among all their citizens, regardless of their religion.
- Work for the opening of our embassy in Damascus and fight against the international blockade against Syria and the sanctions, which enrich the powerful and hurt the humble.
- Work for the return of Eastern Christians refugees in the Middle East while offering them material conditions for a cautious return to Syria and Iraq. States must affirm that they refuse to move Christians from the land of their homeland and protect their millennial presence in the eastern states. In addition, the return of the Syrian refugees [to their homes] will be a profound aid for Lebanon, which is economically exhausted by a burden which it cannot finance.
- Maintain Iraqi sovereignty and respect the integrity of its territory. Peace must be the watchword for the central state’s relations with the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan. States must refrain from using local aspirations to pressure Baghdad. Christians always pay the price of these circumstances.
- Bring the Copts and all the Christians of Egypt into the hearts of the French. That the states defend the security of this community, alongside the Egyptian government, rather than ideological claims that will not succeed in a country still beset by the threats of jihadist sects.
- Work with the Pakistani government, with the entire international community, to end the persecution of those who suffer the excesses of a fanaticism of certain sections of society in the name of a law on blasphemy.
France could be at the forefront of the fight for religious freedom concludes the statement, as this would be honor “that could bring the country after so many diplomatic mistakes again much sympathy”.
©Assyrian International News Agency .