The post-Christian West is in decline, revived Islam is on the rise, and Mesopotamia (Syria-Iraq), the cradle of civilization, has become ground zero in a battle for civilization.
Despised as infidels (unbelievers) and kafir (unclean), Mesopotamia’s indigenous Christian peoples are targeted by fundamentalist Muslims and jihadists for subjugation, exploitation, and elimination.
Pushed deep into the fog of war, buried under a mountain of propaganda, and rendered invisible by a shroud of silence, they are betrayed and abandoned by the West’s “progressive” political, academic, and media elites who cling to utopian fantasies about Islam while nurturing deep-seated hostility towards Christianity.
If they are to survive as a people in their historic homeland, the Christians of Mesopotamia will need all the help they can get. If Western civilization is to survive, then we had better start seeing, hearing, and believing the Christians of the Middle East, for their plight prefigures our own.
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After Saturday Comes Sunday will be officially launched at Melbourne School of Theology on the evening of 14 September.
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In her latest book, Elizabeth Kendal open the eyes of her readers in compelling fashion to the tragedy that has befallen Middle Eastern Christians. Her extensive experience as a religious liberty analyst has informed this work, which is at once an insightful survey of past historical and political events, and a call to action on behalf of persecuted Christians. No reader could fail to be moved by this power study.
– Peter Riddell, Vice Principal, Melbourne School of Theology
Anyone concerned with the atrocities inflicted upon minority Christians in the Middle-East today will treasure this book. Kendal confronts the readers with a current reality that cannot be avoided. A very pertinent and timely book.
– His Grace Bishop Anba Suriel, Coptic Orthodox Bishop, Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions; Dean of St Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Melbourne
In ‘After Saturday Comes Sunday’, Kendal gives us a penetrating insight into a world that hides behind a cloak of religious righteousness. In other words, after the Jews come the Christians. This book profoundly resonates with the Assyrian Christians of the Middle East that have suffered and continue to suffer greatly. Elizabeth Kendal has unveiled the truth.
– Hermiz Shahen, Deputy Secretary General, Assyrian Universal Alliance, Australia
Kendal’s book is a godsend to anyone who is at a loss to understand what lies behind the suffering in the Middle East. Drawing on authoritative voices from the region, her clear-eyed analysis untangles the conflicts with the heart and insight of a prophet. She give a sobering account of the West’s complicity in the atrocities – and what we can do to bring healing in a crisis as appalling as the indifference to it.
– Jeff M. Sellers, Editor, Persecution News Service, Morning Star News
Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East
Some ninety years of Western hegemony in Mesopotamia has come to an end. Having overturned the balance power dynamic that existed through much of the 20th century, the West is now in the process of departing the arena.
Struggling for hegemony in Mesopotamia are, the region’s
- 3 imperial powers: Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia;
- 2 principle Islamic sects: the Sunnis versus the Shi’ites;
- 2 Political Axes: the north-south, Turkey-Arab Sunni Axis versus the east-west, Iran-led, Shia-dominated, Shia Axis or Axis of Resistance (comprising Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus, along with Lebanon’s Hezballah and other “resistance” groups such as Hamas).
The struggle for hegemony will be furious. Though Shi’ites comprise only around 10 percent of Muslims worldwide (Sunni Islam having been spread by nomadic peoples), in the Middle East they comprise 50 percent. More critically, in the lands around the oil and gas rich Persian Gulf (includes Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province), Shi’ites comprise around 80 percent. The stakes are HIGH indeed!
The rise of the “Shia Crescent” (enabled in 2003; consolidated by 2005) has had an enormous impact oil and gas pipeline politics. For example: in 2009 Damascus rejected a proposal to have a Qatar-Turkey pipeline traverse its territory, thereby stifling Sunni efforts to sell gas to Europe. Then, in 2010, Damascus accepted a proposal for an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline. Consequently, should Europe want gas from the Persian Gulf (which it does), it will have to do busine$$ with Axis of Resistance leader Iran.
Can anyone think of a better reason for the US-NATO-Turkey-Arab Sunni Axis to covet regime change in Damascus?
Meanwhile, NATO-member Turkey, Axis of Resistance leader Iran, and US-allied Saudi Arabia are fighting for more than hegemony in fertile, oil-rich Mesopotamia or even the whole Middle East. Along with al-Qaeda and Islamic State, these actors are fighting for hegemony over Muslims: for the right to claim leadership of the Muslim Ummah (nation). And while Islamic terrorist organizations feign strength and independence, they are, in reality just proxies, totally dependent on state-backing.
None will accept the pacification of Mesopotamia until their interests have been secured.
In the eye of the storm; in the buffer zone between the region’s three imperialistic powers; on the sectarian fault-line between the region’s two principle Islamic sects; at the flashpoint where the two political axes intersect, is the ancient Christian heartland of Mesopotamia (“the land between two rivers”). This “Fertile Crescent of minorities” is where the disciples of Jesus were first called Christians, and where the first Christian denomination (the Assyrian Church of the East) was established. It is from where the Gospel spread west into Europe and east into Persia and China, and to where persecuted “early church” Christians once fled for refuge.
As the great powers struggle for supremacy, Mesopotamia’s minorities are being targeted for elimination. Under cover of conflict, Mesopotamia’s indigenous Christians are being both crushed underfoot and swept out of the arena under along with all evidence that they ever existed, by Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is greater) and “Ba’d as-sabt biji yom al-ahad” (After Saturday comes Sunday [meaning: first the Jews, then the Christians]).
Yes, after centuries of decline and decades of weakness, Islam is back, and back with a vengeance, which means the sword is back above the necks not only of Christians but of all who will not yield; all who dare stand in the way of Islam’s success.
Betrayed and Abandoned
Facing displacement, exile, death and genocide, Middle Eastern Christians have been shocked and devastated to find themselves betrayed and abandoned by the West. They had not realized how post-Christian and neo-Marxist the West has become. No longer guided by the Bible, Western values are now determined by moral and cultural relativism. Today, most Western elites believe God does not exist, humanity is inherently good, and the problems of the world are caused not by “sin” (an out-dated, offensive, and politically-incorrect concept) but by economic hardship caused, more often than not, by Western imperialism and other “Christian” crimes. These elites—who control the narrative through their domination of academia, media, politics, and entertainment—arrogantly insist that Christians should evolve or perish, much like the dinosaurs to which they so derisively liken them. No wonder existentially imperilled Christians attract little sympathy.
The only thing hurting the church more than the violence is the Christian exodus. Compelled by faith, hope and love, Middle Eastern church leaders and religious workers—men and women, priests, nuns, pastors and lay workers—are staying, refusing to abandon the remnant.
Though some people insist that the Christian crisis in the Middle East is unprecedented, it is not! To the contrary, it is as if we have returned to the 19th Century—to those bloody days before World War One, before the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, before the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924. None of this is unprecedented. None of it!
What is unprecedented however, is our ability to respond. For with today’s information and communication technologies, churches and individuals can be aware of a crisis taking place on the other side of the world, often as it unfolds, and respond immediately, for the saving of many lives.
Yes! It is possible that Christians and Christianity could be eliminated from the Middle East.
And the only thing necessary for this to be achieved is that we do nothing.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless.
Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
(Quote attributed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least
of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
And “Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it
to one of the least of these,
you did not do it to me.”
(Jesus; from Matthew 25:31-46 ESV)
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