Wednesday, September 19, 2018 | ePaper

Christians may disappear from Mideast : Pope

  • Print


The Vatican has gathered the leaders of nearly all Middle Eastern churches in southern Italy with Pope Francis warning Christians may disappear from the region as war rages on.

AFP, Bari :
Pope Francis on Saturday voiced concern that Christians will disappear from the Middle East amid "murderous indifference" as war rages on.
"The Middle East has become a land of people who leave their own lands behind," Francis said.
He was addressing the leaders of almost all the Middle Eastern churches gathered in the Italian port city of Bari to pray for peace in the region.
"There is also the danger that the presence of our brothers and sisters in the faith will disappear, disfiguring the very face of the region," the pope warned.
"For a Middle East without Christians would not be the Middle East.
"Indifference kills, and we desire to lift up our voices in opposition to this murderous indifference."
Among those attending the ecumenical meeting in southern Italy are the patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the eastern orthodox church, and metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian orthodox church which is powerful in Syria.
Patriarch Tawadros II is representing Egypt's orthodox Copts alongside six patriarch of eastern Catholic churches.
"We want to give a voice to those who have none, to those who can only wipe away their tears," the pope said ahead of talks with the church leaders.
"For the Middle East today is weeping, suffering and silent as others trample upon those lands in search of power or riches."
Francis described the region as "the crossroads of civilisations and the cradle of the great monotheistic religions".
"Yet this region ... has been covered by dark clouds of war, violence and destruction, instances of occupation and varieties of fundamentalism, forced migration and neglect.
"All this has taken place amid the complicit silence of many."
More than 350,000 people have been killed since Syria's brutal civil war began in 2011, with millions more displaced.
The percentage of Christians living in the Middle East has fallen from 20 percent before World War One to four percent today, according to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

More News For this Category

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019

US slashes refugee admissions to 30,000 for 2019

Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019,

Kim says summit with US brought stability, sees further progress

Kim says summit with US brought stability, sees further progress

Reuters, Seoul :North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Tuesday his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June provided geopolitical stability and that he expects more progress.Kim began

Trump defends SC pick after sex assault allegation

Trump defends SC pick after sex assault allegation

US President Donald Trump stood firmly by his Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh Monday after allegations that the conservative judge sexually assaulted a woman when they were teenagers threatened to

Russia says no Syria assault as Putin, Erdogan agree Idlib plan

Russia says no Syria assault as Putin, Erdogan agree Idlib plan

AFP, Sochi :Moscow said Monday there would be no assault on Syria's Idlib as the leaders of Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised zone around the Syrian rebel-held

Japanese billionaire will be first tourist on moon, reveals SpaceX

Japanese billionaire will be first tourist on moon, reveals SpaceX

AP, Tokyo :A Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon, Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first man to fly on a monster SpaceX rocket around the Moon as early as 2023,

News in brief

Britain sees no good alternative to its Brexit plan for Irish borderReuters, Berlin Britain is sticking to its plans for a post-Brexit border between its province of Northern Ireland and

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US

Floodwaters rise as killer storm stalks southeastern US

AFP :Catastrophic floods raised the threat of landslides and dam failures across the southeastern United States on Monday, prolonging the agony caused by a killer hurricane that has left more

Ten on trial over mafia-style killing of Monaco heiress

Ten on trial over mafia-style killing of Monaco heiress

AFP :The imprisoned son-in-law of a murdered Monaco billionaire goes on trial Monday with nine other people suspected in the brazen daylight killing of the heiress, a case which prosecutors

Saudi-UAE attack hits children in Yemen

Al Jazeera News :After sifting through a home turned to rubble, rescue workers finally found the bodies of three-year-old Nabil and new-born baby girl Sumood.Just moments earlier on Saturday, a

Massive clean-up in Hong Kong after typhoon chaos

Massive clean-up in Hong Kong after typhoon chaos

AFP :Hong Kong began a massive clean-up Monday after Typhoon Mangkhut raked the city, shredding trees and bringing damaging floods, in a trail of destruction that left dozens dead in