March 11, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Arab Spring
has brought empowerment, change and hope to several Middle Eastern countries
. But the revolutions have also triggered instability, and for some even fear.
“There certainly is fear. In Syria for example, there's the fear that
the new government will be an Islamic government that will impose the
Sharia law, under its Muslim rule, excluding Christians in the process”, said Cyril Salim Bustros, Greek-Catholic Archbishop of Beirut and Byblos.
The community of Sant Egidio
in Rome, invited key politicians, activists and professors to talk about the past, present and future of the Arab Spring
. It included people from Tunisia, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Irak and the Holy Land. Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Custodian of the Holy Land (Israel)“The Islamic movement will have an important role in the building of these societies that are more than 90 percent Muslim, so we have to deal with this fact and the dialogue is important because that will help us have relations with the moderate Muslims and put aside, in the corner fundamentalism, Islamic movements.”
During this transition, perhaps Egypt has received the most media attention. Especially after at least 26 Coptic Christians
were killed in November, in a conflict with the military.
In Egypt it's illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity
. Reports show in the past, some have been arrested and even hospitalized for converting. Sameh Fawzy
Dialogue Forum 'Bibliotheca Alexandrina' (Egypt)“We also have to come up with a certain legal framework, organizing conversion from one religion to another.”
The actual building of churches
has also been a point of controversy
. For years, the government limited their construction-the issue is still problematic.
Dialogue Forum 'Bibliotheca Alexandrina' (Egypt)“When we speak about the relationship between Muslims and Christians we have to apply law, stick to the law. Issues related to building and rebuilding churches, or worship places in general, which is a genuine problem in Egypt for decades, should stick to the law, we have to apply the law.”
When it comes to actually establishing a new government, Fawzy said it must be established by its own citizens
without the influence of other countries.