|Apologizing for the Crusades
By Anglicans Online staff, assembled from wire service and online reports.
Beirut, 8 September 1998
A massive crowd of 14 Anglicans, presumably descendants of the Crusaders, swarmed the streets of Beirut this week, apologizing to the
descendants of the Saracens for attacking their city 8 centuries ago.
Since the apologies were given in both English and Arabic, there was probably no difficulty understanding the words, but in a nation steeped
in grudge and revenge for thousands of years, the members of the group Reconciliation Walk were probably seen as street performers rather
than as sincere pilgrims. Other members of the 1000-member Reconciliation Walk group have visited Syria to offer similar apologies
Reuters news service reported that most of the Lebanese who noticed the group at all were expressing disbelief. Apology and forgiveness
are not a visible part of the culture here. Matthew Hand, the regional director of Reconciliation Walk, told Reuters reporters that the
members fund their own travel and do this because they think it is the right thing to do.