10 December 2014. On Wednesday, His Holiness Aram I and his delegation visited the Embassy of Armenia in Abu Dhabi. Ambassador Kegham Gharibian and the staff welcomed the Catholicos. After the blessing of the bread and salt, they led the Catholicos to the garden to plant a tree in order to memorialize his visit.
The European Prayer breakfast was organized this year at the European Parliament. The I.A.O. Secretary General Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis participated as a key speaker at the panel discussion and was accompanied by the I.A.O. Russian Advisor prof. Valery Alekseev.
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 - 14:37
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.