Washington Discovers Christian Persecution

The sour expression on his gray and lined face suggests that His Eminence Lufti Laham, the visiting patriarchal vicar for the Orthodox Melkite Church in Jerusalem, disapproves of Nina Shea--her message, her demeanor, even her presence on the same dais.

Shea is a stone-serious conservative Catholic, the religion expert at the human rights group Freedom House and a leader in the fight against the persecution of Christians overseas. Archbishop Laham represents a group of West Bank Christians who are experiencing growing discrimination from their fundamentalist Muslim neighbors. And yet Laham appears physically pained each time Shea mentions the word "persecution."
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