Khalil: Muslims must also protect Christianity

The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said over the weekend that Muslims as well as Christians bear a responsibility to preserve the Christian presence in the East as they constitute an added value to the Arab world.

Khalil was speaking at the opening of St. Michel Primary Health Care Center in the Beirut neighborhood of Sad al-Bouchrieh.

“The responsibility to preserve the Christians of the East is not the responsibility of Christians and their leaders only, but an Islamic humanitarian responsibility as well,” Khalil said, adding that the Christians “constitute an added value to the Arab world and … we need to strive to preserve this presence based on our national, moral, and humanitarian responsibility.”

Khalil added the country had around 140 primary health care centers which constitute a base to build a real and comprehensive health care system.

“We are a small church and sect but our ambition and good people have given us the strength to achieve this big project,” said head of the Chaldean Church, Bishop Michel Qassarji, who is in charge of the new clinic.

Qassarji stressed that the center was founded to serve everyone regardless of their sectarian affiliations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 18, 2011, on page 3.

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