Friday, 28 August 2015

Fouad Twal in Austria: The Christian Exodus, and the Cremisan Wall

Regular readers of this blog will not need reminding that I do not subscribe to any of the world's many religions. I enjoy the freedom of not belonging. 

On the other hand I do believe there is a mysterious power beyond our everyday world and that it exists here on Earth and throughout the known and unknown Universe/s, and in many other dimensions.

Professor Stephen Hawking recently suggested that no information in the Universe is ever lost or destroyed. I think I agree with him. 

One undeniable fact concerning religion is that the majority of people who profess to have a religion did not 'choose' that religion for themselves.  The choice of religion was made for them before they were born. It is a 'choice' made by circumstance.

I recently attended, in Austria, a discussion chaired by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Monsignor Fouad Twal. It was as far as I can remember titled The Christian Exodus? (with question mark). Two messages came across:

Patriarch Fouad Twal, himself a native of Jordan, is deeply concerned with the increasing numbers of Christian refugees fleeing the conflicts in the so-called Holy Lands. An exodus (with a question mark), he calls it. 

The second message relates to the first. The Middle East needs Christians if bridges are to be built between the Arabs and the Jews and peace is to reign.  The Christians are the only people who can hope do this, he says.

Meanwhile, back in Palestine (or is it Israel)  bulldozers uproot the olive trees in the Cremisan Valley. The Patriarch also had a few words to say on that subject. 

Other news from Austria.  
Seventy-one people, including several women and children, were discovered yesterday in the back of an abandoned truck parked on the hard shoulder of a motorway a few kilometers from Vienna International Airport. They were all dead. Documents found at the scene suggest some of the deceased will be from Syria. 


  1. Interesting food for thought Gwil and of course absolutely true - force of circumstance largely dictates our religion. I , like you, prefer to stand on the sidelines. But the fate of those 71 people in that awful lorry is, I hope, a watershed moment in some kind of solution.

    1. Last week on the radio news an elderly married couple were chastised for giving a lift in their car to a family of 4 refugees found wandering near a motorway. Good Samaritans, they took them to where they wished to go, to their brother in Belgium. Listeners were warned that giving lifts to refugees was illegal and people doing so risked a €5,000 fine. Now, following the the discovery of the bodies in the truck, the same radio station has completely changed its position and is calling for people to phone in with their own good samaritan stories aimed to inspire others to also help refugees. It's a funny old world, or would be if it wasn't so tragic.

  2. Gwil. Like yourself I am not a follower of any religion.

    There are times when I despair at the ignorance and anti-humanitarian actions that are committed by people who
    have been taught all through their childhood to respect the dignity of others less well off than themselves.

    Some seventy years ago when most of europe was in flames and suffering from the woes of war. Refugees were every
    where and over the years many of them either returned to their home countries or re-located to other countries.

    Today the children and perhaps grandchildren of those unfortunate former european refugees, plus the descendants of others who were more fortunate have hardened their hearts. The majority of the media who are feeding fear and abhorrent hate into peoples minds have I believe a lot to answer for and need to be named and shamed.

    1. Thank you for the considered comment. In addition, I'd just add that the year 2015 is the 100 years anniversary of the Armenian death marches when over a million people died in the desert. If we don't tackle these problems intelligently and with humanity a similar scenario could easily unfold.

    2. "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." George Santayana


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