- Dec 5, 2019
The martyrs of different Christian churches throughout the Middle East are together in heaven, interceding for peace in the region and enjoying the unity for which all Christians on earth must strive, Pope Francis said.
The Armenian Apostolic Church, one of six in the Oriental Orthodox communion, will have a fixed representative in Rome, similar to the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, and Methodists.
The United States has been more helpful toward Christians escaping persecution in Iraq compared to most European countries, according to Archbishop Saad Sirop Hanna, the Apostolic Visitor for Chaldeans Residing in Europe, who was kidnapped by Al Qaeda militants in 2006.
Pope Francis has sent Pope Tawadros II a letter commemorating the “Day of friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church,” which marks the 44th anniversary of the first meeting between Blessed Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III.
Christian leaders in the region say Pope Francis’s April 28-29 trip to Egypt was a great success. The pope has backed Egypt’s efforts to tackle Islamic militancy, saying the country has a special role to play in forging regional peace as well as in “vanquishing all violence and terrorism.”
One major aspect of Pope Francis’s trip to Egypt is the ecumenical encounter with the Coptic Orthodox Church, a member of the Oriental Orthodox communion, which broke with what are now the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches as early as the fifth century, when they rejected the definitions of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Together, the six Churches in the communion represent some 84 million faithful and are among the oldest Christian bodies in the world.