- Jun 14, 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.
Church leaders in Iraq have praised Pope Francis’s decision to come in March amid a pandemic as a brave decision, voicing hope that it will encourage Christians to stay in the country despite present difficulties.
Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai warned that the Christian presence in the Middle East is shrinking and church leaders “are called to face the winds that blow in our homelands.”
Lebanon’s president said Monday that the crisis-hit country could be going to “hell” if a new government was not formed, suggesting it would require a “miracle” for that to happen at this point.
A Catholic congressman who is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee called the Middle East peace accord signed Sept. 15 at the White House a “momentous pact” he hopes “is the beginning of several future peace accords to strengthen peace within the region.”
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.
The Middle East Council of Churches called for prayer and peace-building initiatives amid escalating tensions in the Middle East and the Arab world.