Sunday, December 5, 2010

Religious Freedom: Fighting for Muslims to Fight for Christians

This is a very interesting article about outrage from Greeks about a variety of recent events that have used the status of the Muslim minority in Greece as a foil to talk about the Christian minorities in Turkey. The author quotes himself from a speech he gave at recent conference about religious minorities in Turkey:

As a human rights defender I really would like to see good examples in Greece in the treatment of Muslim minorities so that I could use it to force my government to do the same thing for non-Muslims in Turkey.

I was discussing recently whether or not I thought it was appropriate for Christians to promote religious freedom as such. I certainly won't suggest that we ought to support or pursue the suppression of religious minorities, but I question the legitimacy, the ethics of actively pursuing the rights of people everywhere to worship idols. While I still struggle with that question in general, this article has at least shown me the utilitarian value of improving the lot of Muslim minorities in Greece. I cannot imagine a more potent weapon in the arsenal of the Ecumenical Patriarch than a Greece that shames Turkey with its humanitarian tolerance. That seems to me to be a thoroughly Christian way of going about things, being so obviously, overtly good so as to shame evil out of existence.

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