United by Democracy

Christians and Muslims are involved together in the democracy and reform movements bubbling up around the Middle East, and members of both communities will gain from their success and suffer if they are violently suppressed, said a leading Lebanese Muslim scholar. With demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt, simmering unrest in Yemen and government changes in Lebanon, “I am both worried and hopeful,” said Muhammad al-Sammak, adviser to the chief mufti of Lebanon and secretary general of Lebanon’s Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue. “It is true that the situation of Christians in the Middle East is not good,” he said, adding that the region’s governments must do more to protect the religious minorities in their midst. “The political outcome [of unrest] is likely to take different shapes in different countries,” he said. “Christians in the Middle East are part of this change. They are not opposed to it; they are not leading it; they are part of it.”

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