Friday the 16th of April

...to the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Catholic, Orthodox patriarchs seek help, say Mideast churches in danger

Mideast Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs decried the desperate situation they face as shepherds of churches “whose existence is in real danger.”

They categorised the continued displacement of Christians from the Middle East as “a genocidal project, a humanitarian catastrophe and a plague of the earth’s civilisation.”

“The time has come to make a prophetic cry” and to speak “the truth that frees us in the spirit of the Gospel,” the Council of the Eastern Patriarchs said in a statement on 11th August, after a meeting in Diman, Lebanon, from 9th to 10th August.

“We, the custodians of the ‘small flocks,’ are hurting because of the exodus of Christians from their native lands in the Middle East,” the patriarchs said.

They appealed to the United Nations and to “the states directly concerned with the war in Syria, Iraq and Palestine to stop the wars that have arisen, as are evident in the demolition, killing, displacement, revival of terrorist organisations and the fueling of intolerance and conflicts between religions and cultures.”

They asked Pope Francis “to call on the representatives of the people who control the destinies of peoples, to remind them and even to scold them that the continued displacement of Christians from the Middle East is certainly a genocidal project, a humanitarian catastrophe, but a plague of the earth’s civilisation.”

Picture: Christians light candles at Our Lady of Dormition Church in Damascus, Syria, in 2016. Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs decried the desperate situation they face as shepherds of churches “whose existence is in real danger.” (CNS photo/Youssef Badawi, EPA).