- May 10, 2021
The support of Catholics worldwide is an invaluable resource for small Christian communities in the Middle East who have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Vatican official said.
“That’s something that the pope is trying to do, but it’s very difficult,” Gallagher said when asked if he though part of Francis’ sense of urgency to go to Iraq despite the COVID-19 pandemic and safety concerns was the risk of Christianity disappearing from the Middle East.
Pope Francis on Monday wrapped up his historic whirlwind tour of Iraq that sought to bring hope to the country’s marginalized Christian minority with a message of coexistence, forgiveness and peace.
Having witnessed or even experienced persecution for their faith, the Christians of Iraq must be careful not to harbor thoughts of revenge, Pope Francis told them.
The “tragic diminution of Jesus’ disciples here and across the Middle East,” the pope said, “does incalculable harm not just to the individuals and communities concerned, but also to the society they leave behind.”
A Jordan native and expert on Islamic affairs has said the changing faith dynamics of the Middle East has provided an opportunity to reflect on the underlying causes.
Amid suffering and despair, further darkened by the coronavirus pandemic, Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East urged their faithful at Christmastime to hold on to hope.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit thousands of foreign workers hard in the glitzy Gulf emirate of Dubai, leaving them jobless and starving. But one of the largest Catholic congregations in the world, found in Dubai, has stepped up as “Good Samaritans” ministering to the needy, and now it hopes to bless even more during this Christmas season.