As Both Christmases Approach: Why Do Western Christians Forget The Eastern Churches Exist?

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Dec 17 2012, 19:49:00

In a year in which both the Coptic Pope and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria have died, it may be useful to repeat a story I know I've told before. I once had a friend, a devout Palestinian Christian, who back in the day would encounter, in various American Christian communities in which he moved, well-meaning ladies and gentlemen who, on learning he was a Christian Arab, would naively ask, "which missionary group converted your people?" He would respond (knowing his sense of timing, I presume after waiting a couple of beats): "Perhaps you've heard of them: Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles."

Over the next week or so most US news organizations will have at least one clip from a city in the West Bank known as Bethlehem. They will show the Church of the Nativity, interview a few olive-wood souvenir sellers about the decline in the tourist trade due to the stalled peace process, and, because it is almost impossible to show pictures of Bethlehem without it, show how the Israeli Separation Wall cuts along the side of town. It will be the only report from Bethlehem you see until next December. There are fairly good odds it will also be the only picture of the Separation Wall you see until next December.

If it had not been for the election of the Coptic Pope, which got some limited coverage, it might be the only Western media coverage all year of Christianity in the region where the faith began.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Libye:   Deux Premiers ministres pour un seul pays (news)
Radio France Internationale
28 August 2014

Le Conseil de sécurité a renforcé les sanctions de l'ONU contre les groupes armés en Libye. Depuis la chute de Mouammar Kadhafi, en octobre 2011, le pays est morcelé ... [read more]

Libye:   Mise en garde de l'ONU aux auteurs de crimes internationaux (news)
Hirondelle News Agency
28 August 2014

Le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a lancé mercredi une mise en garde aux auteurs de violations du droit international humanitaire qui seraient actuellement commises sur le ... [read more]

Egypte:   L'inauguration du port sec de Kastal encourage l'int├ęgration entre l'Egypte et le Soudan (news)
Egypt State Information Service
28 August 2014

Le port sec de Kastal sur les frontières égypto-soudanaises représente un moyen qui facilite le passage vers le lac Nasser, a déclaré mercredi 27 août 2014 ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!