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March 17, 2014 8:00 pm
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Former Lebanese President: Mideast Christian Exodus ‘Approaching Biblical Proportions’

avatar by JNS.org

The flag of Lebanon. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.orgFormer Lebanese President Amine Gemayel warned that the Middle East is experiencing a “crisis of religious pluralism” driven by the “rise of religious extremists” against religious and ethnic minorities in the region.

Gemayel, a Maronite Christian who served as president from 1982-1988 after taking over for his brother Bashir, who was assassinated during the bloody Lebanese Civil War—said at a speech sponsored by Christian Solidarity International that Middle East Christians in particular are fleeing the region “in an exodus approaching biblical proportions.”

Specifically, Gemayel highlighted “church burnings, physical assaults and killings” in Egypt, “an onslaught of murder” in Iraq, and “a bloody-minded reign of terror” from “ultra-radical Islamists in regions of Syria where they have imposed their rule.”

Gemayel also called on President Barack Obama and European leaders to create an inter-agency task force to prepare strategies aimed at securing religious freedom and diversity in the Middle East.

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