Michael Meier, Religion expert
"In 20 or 30 years there will be in Europe a Muslim majority. Half of European women will then wear a hijab. "This prediction comes from Dionysos Isa Gürbüz, the Syrian Orthodox bishop in Switzerland.
He resides in the idyllic Lake Zug Arth Capuchin monastery, two monks and two nuns. From the monastery Mor Avgin out, as it is called today, he manages the 10,000 Syrian Orthodox faithful in Switzerland and 4000 in Austria.
Isa Gürbüz is busy preparing for the Easter services, which are celebrated in his church in late April. Then his coreligionists will flock in their hundreds to Arth. Together they will pray, sing and debate - in the Aramaic native language, the sacred language that Jesus spoke. The Syrian Orthodox Church is the oldest ever. In her home in the former Mesopotamia - today Syria and Iraq, they are persecuted. "Arth has therefore become a center for the preservation of our endangered religion and culture," says Gürbüz.
The fate of the Christians occupied the bishop.
Easter joy may not quite rise to the bishop. He is too busy with concerns of the fate of Christians in the Middle East: "What today cause thousands of terrorist groups of IS, Taliban or al-Qaida, is the extension of the genocide of 1915." At that time nearly two million Christians - Aramean, Syrian, and Greek - Orthodox - perished; millions converted to Islam.
The Bishop continues: "What happens to us today, began 1,300 years ago in the 7th century. The genocide of Christians began, then in the dark, now in the media spotlight. The Agenda of Islam has remained always the same for him, namely to expel the Christians from the Middle East. Also, in the coming years there, the spirit of terror will reign.
UN protection zone for Christians
As most Syrian Orthodox Christians living in Switzerland, the 51-year-old bishop comes from the eastern part of Turkey, which formerly belonged to Syria. At the beginning of the century still 230,000 Syrians lived at Turkey's border with Syria; today there are virtually no more. Turkey is the enemy of Christians, says Isa Gürbüz.
He was first a monk at the famous monastery of Mor Gabriel, left in 1989 to teach Syrian and liturgy at the theological seminary in Damascus . In 1997 he became the first Syrian Orthodox bishop in Germany, before he came to Arth decade ago.
400 to 500 Aramean families living in Switzerland came from Syria, he says. In recent years, only just 50 Christian refugee families had come to Switzerland. Most lived in Ticino and Aargau. With collections of clothes, eatables and money to try to help the brethren in Syria, says Isa Gürbüz. He wished that Switzerland would take more Christian refugees, which he explained in an interview with Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter last year.
For 20 years the Bishop has a vision in his head, after which the two million Christians in the Middle East - could be set up a protection zone under UN mandate - in a safe place in Syria or Lebanon like that set up in Kosovo in 1999.
A future without Assad Syria?
How many Christian bishops and patriarchs from the Middle East see a future Syria without Assad, Isa Gürbüz can hardly imagine. A better man is not easy to find. Before the war, Syria was the only country in the Middle East, were Christians lived their faith undisturbed. "If Assad were eliminated, could the same thing happen as in Iraq, where, after the fall of Saddam Hussein democracy broke (was there ever democracy under Saddam? I don't think so) and Islamist groups took over the reins." The Arab Spring was for Isa Gürbüz just a game, an interlude. "Because Islam ultimately does not accept democracy, but wants to impose Sharia law."
The bishop is traumatized by the persecution in the Middle East so that it is a matter of urgency, a call for vigilance, especially those churches intent on political correctness. It is naive to think that the millions of refugees who would now come via Turkey to Europe, will all adapt and live with the Christians in Europe in peace. Also among the refugees there were terrorists. "Why don't the Gulf states, the Emirates and Qatar take any refugees?" Because it was their agenda to convert Europe to Islam.
"Islam does not accept democracy, but wants to impose Sharia law."
Isa Gürbüz already looks Eurabia in his mind's eye: The number of child-rich Muslims would grow rapidly, to take power and begin the persecution, he believes. "What is happening today in the Middle East, will happen here in Europe." He does not call for hatred, insists the bishop; only for him 1,300 years of history of persecution have taught him not to trust Muslims. He sees the beginnings of fateful proselytizing in Europe by the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia and the Turkish Ministry of Religion building Diyanet mosques in this country.
The Old Catholic Bishop of Switzerland, Harald Rein, knows Bishop Isa Gürbüz and would not describe it as Islamophobic. Like other Christian bishops and patriarchs from the Middle East he was suspicious of Muslim groups in Syria. It was a traumatic experience when neighbors with whom they had once lived together, suddenly fell upon them says Rein.