Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - "Who takes advantage if this region is emptied of Christians, who helped create it?" This was the question posed by Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, in his speech on Tuesday, January 22 at beginning of the meeting of the executive committee of the Council of the Churches of the Middle East, gathered in Lebanon in conjunction with the week of prayer for Christian unity. The meeting, hosted at the Syrian Orthodox patriarchal headquarters of Atchaneh, saw the participation, among others, of the general secretary Souraya Bechealany, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako and
Habib Badr, Pastor of the National Evangelical Church of Beirut. On this occasion – explained Soraya Bechealany in her introductory speech - the common theological and pastoral reflection will focus on justice as the foundation of peace. Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem, in his speech, reiterated that the future of Christians in the Middle East consists in "living together with Muslims" on the basis of mutual respect and sharing of the same rights.
Within the framework of the Council's working sessions, leaders and representatives of the Middle Eastern Churches present in Atchaneh also shared an ecumenical celebration held in the church of San Severo, as a sign of communion on the occasion of the annual week of prayer for Christian unity. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 23/1/2019)