Lebanon News

Bassil: Rise of extremists dangerous for Christians

Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil arrives to attend a Cabinet session at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Monday, July 30, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil said the Arab Spring has turned out to be “a windy and cold winter,” highlighting the dangers facing Christians in the Levant as extremist Islamist governments replace dictatorships.

“The so-called Arab Spring turned out to be not more than a windy and cold winter, as dictatorships were replaced by extremist Islamist governments and Al-Qaeda-inspired movements were given a boost,” Bassil said.

He was addressing participants in the American Middle East Christians Congress Conference which convened in Detroit, Michigan between Sept. 28 and Sept. 30. Bassil said that the United Sates’ support of extremist movements in the Middle East, which is eroding the region’s Christian presence, also has a negative impact on Americans and American interests across the world.

He lamented that the percentage of Christians in the Levant has dropped from 20 percent to 8 percent of the total population over the past five decades.





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