HB John X Yaziji: Our challenges have become existential extending to all East, it is about being or being not!
The General Secretary of the Council of Churches of the Middle East presented the council’s situation with His Beatitude John X Yaziji, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, in a protocol visit at the headquarters of the Patriarchate in Damascus.
After reviewing the different ecumenical projects, theological projects, and new media strategy, His Beatitude renewed his support and blessing to MECC’s working team. He stressed the importance of the convergence of the Churches of the East. In his own he claims:
“Christians must realize that we are passing through special circumstances and our challenges are not against some authorities but have become existential, extending to all East, it is about being or being not!
Consider the number of Christians in Palestine, where Christ was born, and the number of Christians residing in Jerusalem. Also think about what happened to the Christians of Iraq, or the dwindling numbers of Christians who remain in Lebanon, or what happened to them in Syria.
We have to wake up from our coma and realize that our cooperation and unity will determine our survival in the Middle East.
It has become clear that there is a conspiracy to remove Christians from the Middle East. We, as Christians, are targeted. Everyone asks us wherever we go if we are staying in Syria or leaving, and we reply one at a time: No! we will never leave! No matter what the price!
So, the question of the Christian presence in the Middle East is being debated with a big question mark. It is urgent to know how to repel attacks on us since ethnic and national tension is increasing. But I would like to remind them that we are not simply minorities, and our leading role in this East is witnessed by our history.
Therefore, it is essential that we come together as churches to meet this challenge. We are honest, resourceful and patriotic and that means they want to apply a divide-and-rule policy to weaken us.
Solidarity and cooperation between the churches, a basic role for the Council, had been endorsed by the Orthodox since the birth of the Council. This has paved the way for outstanding results.”