- Apr 5, 2020
One might have expected the pontiff to use his trip to Bari on Sunday to issue a passionate cri de coeur in defense of a local church representing the historic roots of the faith, and which is presently fighting for its life.
At a time when many within the Catholic Church are at odds with each other, Pope Francis on Sunday said that Jesus wasn’t “using nice turns of phrase” when he called upon those who follow him to “love your enemies.”
Visiting the Southern Italian city of Bari, Pope Francis on Sunday demanded government leaders protect minorities, particularly Christians.
One man with up close and personal experience of the risks threatening Christianity in the Middle East has said those in Iraq and Syria, at least in part, blame fundamentalist terrorism and heightened tensions between the United States and Iran for the region’s dwindling number of Christians.
A lethal combination of insecurity, political chaos, economic stagnation and outright persecution have created a toxic environment in the Middle East – for almost everyone, of course, but in a special way for Christians.
When some 50 bishops and patriarchs from different rites throughout the Mediterranean gather in Bari this month to discuss the dire situation many countries in the region face, the survival of Christians in the Middle East will likely emerge as a central topic.