Pope Francis said Christians are being “driven from the Middle East,” in a message to Iraqi Christians forced to flee by Islamic State group jihadists.
“It would seem that they (the extremists) do not want there to be any Christians, but you bear witness to Christ,” he said in a video address timed to coincide with a visit Saturday by French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil.
“I think of the wounds, of the pain of women with their children, the elderly and the displaced, the wounds of those who are victims of every type of violence,” Francis said according to a transcript.
On 2 December 2014, a seminar on “Christians of the East: Is There a Hope for the Future?” organized by the Thomas More Institute took place at the Château Sainte-Anne Royal International Club in Brussels, Belgium.
As the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the European international institutions reports, among the speakers were Mr. Benjamin Blanchard, founder of the “SOS. Christians of the East” Charity Foundation; Ms. Roueida Khouri, President of the “Christians of Syria for Peace” Association; and Prof. Jean-François Colosimo from St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, who presented his new book on the future of Christians in the Middle East.
4 December 2014. On Thursday morning, His Holiness Aram I arrived in Dubai, where he will consecrate the Armenian Church in Abu Dhabi. The Catholical Vicar V. Rev. Mesrob Sarkissian, and representatives of the Armenian Church Council in the United Arab Emirates and members of the community, as well as the Ambassadors of Lebanon and Armenia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) greeted him at the airport. The Armenian Church in Abu Dhabi is the second church that the Catholicos will have consecrated in the UAE; the first was the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church in Sharjah sixteen years ago.
Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Coptic Pope Tawadros II inaugurated the International Conference for Countering Extremism and Terrorism8. December 2014 - 13:37
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayeb and Coptic Pope Tawadros II inaugurated the international conference for countering extremism and terrorism in Cairo Wednesday.
The conference was opened in the presence of an international array of religious scholars.
It comes as part of government-led efforts to counter the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). Egypt has joined the international coalition to fight the ISIS existence in Iraq and Syria.
Joint Declaration of His Holiness Pope Francis and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew1. December 2014 - 11:56
We, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, express our profound gratitude to God for the gift of this new encounter enabling us, in the presence of the members of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to celebrate together the feast of Saint Andrew, the first–called and brother of the Apostle Peter.
Our remembrance of the Apostles, who proclaimed the good news of the Gospel to the world through their preaching and their witness of martyrdom, strengthens in us the aspiration to continue to walk together in order to overcome, in love and in truth, the obstacles that divide us.
On Sunday, November 30, 2014, the Ecumenical Patriarchate celebrated its Thronal Feast on the occasion of the Feast of St. Andrew, First-Called of the Apostles, at the Patriarchal Church of St. George.
Typically each year, over the last fifty years, formal visitations take place with the Church of Rome and delegations from each Church are sent by their Primates to attend the patronal feast of the other.