An Orthodox Christian/Shi'a Alliance in the Middle East? Another Provocative Read from Soul of the East

Soul of the East has published another intriguing article, this one by Matthew Cooper, who recently worked as an English and history teacher in China. We link to it here at RogueMoney for discussion, and as recognition of an undeniable geopolitical trend: in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, Christians have turned to Shi'a Muslims for protection and alliance against viciously anti-Christian, Gulf Cooperation Council -funded takfiri terrorists. Aka the people our friends the Saudis and many in the mainstream media still call the 'moderate rebels'.Whether this merely a tactical alliance rooted in geopolitics and U.S. neoconservative/neoliberal support for the sectarian and repressive Sunni Gulf Arab states, or something more deeply rooted in theological parallels, is a worthy topic of debate. One thing is clear though: many people around the world are starting to realize ancient Christian communities and churches exist under government protection in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran -- but there are no legal churches allowed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Christianity is brutally repressed in the GCC states allied with Washington.

SyrianGirlsChristmas

The Russia Analyst knows for a fact that the household 'help' of the Assads has been by tradition mostly Christian rather than members of the Assad's own Allawite sect of Shi'a Islam for decades -- an American friend and neighbor met then young Bashir in the early 1980s while speaking with members of Hafez al-Assad household staff (Saddam Hussein's foreign minister Tariq Aziz was an Iraqi Christian).  There have been persistent rumors and allegations spread by radical Sunnis for decades that the Assads and many Allawis are crypto-Christians, and the late December/early January Christmas celebrations by Muslims and Christians alike in liberated Syrian cities (contrasted with the absence of Christmas festivities in 'free Syrian' rebel-held areas) and Iraq were more cheerful than usual this year -- perhaps because many Mideast Christians and Muslims felt hope that these terrible wars against Salafi sectarians might be drawing to a close soon.

Heartfelt greetings, or propaganda? Hezbollah soldiers salute a damaged Christian church in Syria.

A Lebanese Shi'a Hezbollah soldier salutes a statue of the Mother of God in another photo taken in war-torn Syria

Protectress in battle: Christian soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army kneel in front of an icon of the Mother of God in Syria

For further reading and listening:

An Orthodox Christian Exposition of Islam

Ancient Faith Radio podcast: My conversion from Shi'a Islam to Orthodox Christianity by Anthony Alai

The Saker: Russia and Islam, or How the Russians Make Muslim Allies (something the Orthodox Christian Tsars also did for centuries)

A Saker appeal to his non-religious readers from 2014 (relevant to certain commenters at RM who wish to understand Mideast geopolitics without all this God/eschatology talk)