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Monday, October 1, 2012

Christian Growth in the Heart of Islam

Bishop Camillo Ballin, MCCJ
Media theorists like to talk about the power of a "narrative," meaning a storyline that's often more influential than reality in shaping perceptions. For instance, violent crime rates in the United States are at historic lows, yet popular psychology, shaped by Quentin Tarantino and "CSI," remains gripped by a narrative of pervasive danger.

Pope Benedict XVI recently returned from his fourth trip to the Middle East, where there's a strong Christian narrative these days: decline and possible extinction. Given the steep drop in the native Christian population, some fear the region will soon be a "spiritual Disneyland," full of holy sites but empty of flesh-and-blood believers.

There's certainly reality to that, yet the narrative of decline obscures an equally important truth. In some parts of the Middle East, Christianity is actually booming, and those folks deserve some attention, too.

Read the rest of this entry at The National Catholic Reporter >>


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