I first learned the phrase He is Risen in an Eastern Orthodox church and it now seems like the most appropriate thing for Christians to say to each other on Easter morning.
A Syrian pastor once told me that the Syrian government had the policy of gifting cement to any group expressing the desire to build a church. It seemed so counter-intuitive to me that a majority-Muslim government of a Muslim country would do this, that I was shocked and didn’t know whether to believe it or not.
But I later learned, some time after the West and its terror-sponsoring Saudi allies had invaded Syria bent on destroying the country, under the harmless-sounding slogan “Arab Spring,” that the Syria under Bashar al-Assad and his father had always been the most tolerant country in the Middle East, where no one ever asked anyone what their religion was. This is the only sensible approach in a multi-confessional country that desires internal peace. The approach works fairly well in the US, for example, despite thy hundreds of different denominations and the existence of Muslims, Buddhists, atheists and a host of other belief and non-belief systems.
So the obvious question is: why would the entire West gang up on the leader of the most tolerant and peace-loving government in the Middle East, using, of all things, fighters imbued with the spirit of Wahhabism, the most intolerant and violent cult in the world, to achieve the senseless overthrow – or should I say regime change?
No matter how much the media and political class maligned Assad, it was obvious that something was terribly wrong and that if the West had its way, Western intervention would wind up eliminating Christianity from another nation (after Iraq) that was one of the first to embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ.
You can chocolate-coat a road apple but it is still inedible. Conversely, you can cover a person with lies and if he is true to himself, he still remains who he is.
Assad is still a pure-hearted man who passionately loves his country. He celebrates Christmas along with his Eastern Orthodox compatriots. He belongs to the gentle sect of the Alawites, who have always accepted Jews and Christians in their midst. And all of the polls taken by Westerners in an attempt to detract from his popularity show that the majority still loves this man.
Something sinister and terrible has happened to the once-Christian West. Westerners readily bought the propaganda that led us into a war that produced casualties in a credible range from 150,000 to 460,000, depending on whose figures you accept, and drove the majority of the Assyrian Christians from Iraq, where they had lived peacefully side by side with their Muslims brothers (they considered them such) for 2000 years. Today, these same Westerners are still showing little resistance to the lies that are aimed at ousting Assad and the lies aimed at igniting a war with Iran – even though it was the Saudis who supported the terrorists in Syria and Iraq and it is the Iranian troops that fought and still fight ISIS and Al-Qaeda in both Syria and Iraq. Somehow we are supposed to hate these people but admire the “bold young leader of Saudi Arabia,” now being portrayed as a reformer, even though his country continues to support terrorists (middleeasteye.net reports that Saudi TV recently featured interviews with some nice gentlemen who happen to be members of Al-Qaeda). The irony is that these reforms, including allowing women to drive and the introduction of cinema, are political features that have long existed in Iran and yet the media and political class ignore their existence there (Iran is in fact a leader in movie making). It is clear that some are more equal than others in our topsy-turvy Western media.
Anyone paying a bit of attention to the Western press and TV news is asking to the deceived. If you really want to know what is happening in the Middle East, China or Russia, for example, I recommend reading the local media of those regions (choices include www.almasdarnews.com, https://sana.sy/en/, https://southfront.org/, http://www.tehrantimes.com/ for the Middle East, http://www.globaltimes.cn/ and http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/ for China and https://www.rt.com/news/ and https://sputniknews.com/ for Russia. The Western media shriek hysterically that all media from countries that fail to kow-tow to Washington are “fake news.” However, much of what is reported in the above-cited media, while ignored at first in the West, is reported later here. In other words, reading these sites will put you ahead of the curve in your news consumption and enable you to decide early which Western positions are correct and which are erroneous, sometimes dangerously so.
At any rate, there is no reason why Western Christians should be listening to the Washington elites who are obviously desperate to destroy Christianity in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Just say no to Western media in God's name.
And just say yes to the One who said: ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. And if you are a Western Christian, just say, with your Eastern brethren, He is risen.