- Jul 8, 2020
Msgr. John E. Kozar is retiring as president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association/Pontifical Mission for Palestine.
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.
In a private meeting with Pope Francis, Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East had an opportunity to sound the alarm regarding the survival of Christians in the region as a result of persecution, extremism, economic insecurity and immigration to the West.
The Middle East Council of Churches called for prayer and peace-building initiatives amid escalating tensions in the Middle East and the Arab world.
In a room full of religious leaders, politicians and other supporters of protecting Christians threatened in the Middle East, Sam Brownback, ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, urged more prayer and action to continue supporting persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told religion reporters in a conference call late March 18 prior to his five-day visit to the Middle East that his visit was focusing on security, the economy, threats from Islamic radical terrorists and the need to promote religious tolerance.