POPE VISIT TO HOLY LAND by Anton Caragea
POPE VISIT TO HOLY LAND
FORGING A NEW RELATION BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
Pope visit to Holy Land (Jordan, Israel, Syria and Lebanon) marks an important step toward building a new relation between Christianity and Islam. After the last 10 years when the war in Iraq and the tensions between Israel and Palestine had soured relations among Christian and Islamic community the two weeks visit of Pope Benedict XVI promise to transform radically this views of clash of civilizations.
The end of clash of civilizations.
One of the most important reasons of Pope visit to Holy Land is to symbolic mark the end of the clash of civilization theory that prophecies’ an imminent clash between Christianity and Islam. By itself the program of Pope visit gives a new definition of Holy land that is no longer just Israel but Jordan, Syria and Lebanon as well, all marked by Christianity and Islam become now the new and correct frontier of the Holy Land. The greater Holy Land of Pope Benedict is speaking by itself about the dialog of civilization and shared faith and community between Christian and Islam in the Middle East.
Geopolitics and faith in Pope visit.
Not only history is going in this direction, today geopolitics realities are lighting the same way. Today Christianity and Islam are sharing the energy reserves and the energy market of Europe and Middle East and are involved in controlling the strategic vital area of Mediterranean Sea and Middle East. Also in Europe is getting birth a community of more the 40 million Muslims which must adapt to their presence in a predominant Christian society an also in Middle East is a strong and historically viable community of more the 18 millions Christians that must have a life in a majority Muslim countries. So regarding at this realities Christianity and Islam are condemned to work together for creating a new life for Islamic community in Europe and for Christians in the Middle East.
The end of confrontational vision
At the speech in Al Hussein Mosque in Amman Pope Benedict XVI announce the end of the vision of a confrontation between Islam and Christianity. Pope Benedict stress on the long connection between Islam and Christianity and the fact that Islam is the only religion that recommends to his followers to have friendship relations with Christians. In Quran, the word of Allah, Muslims are recommended to have Christian friends because the will be more sympathetic with Muslims because they have monks and are humble. Also Quran have a sura dedicated to Holy Virgin Mary and to Jesus (Sura of family of Imran) and Jesus, John the Baptist are regarded as prophets and models for Islamic community and in Hadith (Words and action of Prophet Mohammed) Jesus will marked the coming of the end of days and Prophet Mohammed confess that Jesus is among the prophets the most closes to him. In the light of all this Quranic and Islamic testimony to create the image of a confrontation between Islamic and Christianity is false. Also the Pope declared in his trip to Christians that is having a profound respect for Islam.
Voices of discontent.
The new message of Pope Benedict XVI is making a lot of persons that took advantage of the confrontational vision of two major religions unsatisfied. Radical Islamic organization tried to play on the fear of crusades and Christian offensive and they wanted to poison the atmosphere of papal visit spreading rumors about Christian’s missions in Afghanistan trying to convert Muslims. But the radicals have no success in this spread of lies and the Afghanistan controversy did not match the cartoon controversy. In Israel also fearing closer ties between Christianity and Islam the far right extremist menace to protest violently and disrupt Papal visit .Until now all this attempts have failed a prove that on both shores of Mediterranean sea the vision of clash o civilization has collapsed and a new dialog between Christianity and Islam will resolved many of the frozen conflicts of the region promising a new era of downfall of radicals in the Middle East. The time of cooperation has begun.
Professor Anton Caragea MA, FINS, PhD
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