Event Detail

4
Sep
2012

The Arab Spring: Religious Winter?

The Rev. Father Nadim Nassar
Tuesday, 4 Sep 2012
Ming Hua College, Glenealy, Central

Tickets on sale from 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm

HK$150 RGS HK members and HK$200 Non Members

no pre reservation required

Syrian cleric The Rev. Father Nadim Nassar, Founder and Director of the Awareness Foundation lectures on "The Arab Spring: Religious Winter? ". In this lecture, Father Nadim speaks about the Arab Spring, focussing on the rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East, its causes and its effect on the minorities in the region. As the battle for Syria continues, this is a unique opportunity to hear from a Syrian Christian about the battle for the Middle East.

For the last two years, the world has been watching the events in the Middle East with astonishment and curiosity. Dictators who had ruled mostly unopposed for decades suddenly fell one after another. Peoples who had always thirsted for freedom and dignity suddenly took back the power which had been usurped by a few. The people of the Middle East rose up against an authoritarianism which had spawned corruption, oppression and murder.

Father Nadim believes that religion has played a major role in the Arab Spring although it has not been the main catalyst. There was limited religious motivation for the revolts in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt or even Syria until recently. However, he argues that the key religious dimension to the Arab Spring has just revealed itself. Now religious fundamentalism is fighting to decide how each country is to be shaped in the new era, about which he speaks in depth.

Christians have always existed in the Middle East in large numbers. St. Paul was converted on the road to Damascus, the capital of Syria, and Jesus Christ was born in Judaea, then a satellite province of Roman Syria. However, in the second half of the twentieth century, the number of Christians living in the Middle East started to fall due to economic and political instability in the region and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. In recent years, Christians have faced increasing sectarianism and even violence, especially in Iraq and Egypt, but now also in Syria. Father Nadim also explores the causes and possible solutions to this problem.

The Rev. Father Nadim Nassar was born in Lattakia, Syria. He read theology at the Near East School of Theology in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. He became the editor of the Arabic Hymnal in Limassol, Cyprus before going to Lattakia, Syria to be the minister of the National Evangelical Church in Lattakia, a member of the National Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon.

After coming to the United Kingdom, Father Nassar became the Director and Founder of the Awareness Foundation, of which the Archbishop of Canterbury is Patron. He has also lectured at universities in London on World Religions, Faith and Citizenship. Father Nadim has also taught at many churches in the Middle East, Europe, North America and the Far East. He leads diocesan conferences in the UK, US and Asia, in addition to giving frequent public lectures worldwide. He has appeared frequently on television, radio and other media around the world, including on the BBC, CNN, ANB, Premier Radio, The Evening Standard, The Daily Telegraph, Metro International Press and Al Quds AlArabi.

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