Maronite Bishop Urges 'Profound Defiance'

Maronite Bishop Gregory J. Mansour of Brooklyn, N.Y., spoke in Nashville, Tenn., to Belmont University students on Oct. 22 about the need for all Christians to respond to persecution with “profound defiance,” which is markedly different from vengeful retaliation or submissive inaction. “Jesus was not a passive victim,” Bishop Mansour said. “Christians are not just asked to be nice people and doormats.” Bishop Mansour told the students that they are called to stand in solidarity with the persecuted Christians in the Middle East and to join forces with people of goodwill to raise a voice against “the worst injustice you can imagine,” that is currently taking place at the hands of Islamic State militants. Bishop Mansour noted the historical divisions among Christians but said that “amazing unity is happening today” because of the threat to Middle East Christians. He championed the art of nonviolent resistance. This requires “much prayer, much fasting, much building of solidarity,” he said. “Peace is possible, but it takes a lot of hard work.”

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