Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The struggle involving the Christians of the Middle East, in this tragic phase of their history, the wrestle today is "not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place", said Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III, who currently heads the council.
The opening of the 11th General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), took place yesterday Tuesday, September 6, in Amman, and as many as 22 heads and official representatives of Churches and Christian communities spread in the area took part. The title of the summit, taken from Psalm 118 ("Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever") proposes the vocation of Christians to being an instrument of mercy in that part of the world devastated by violence, injustices and conspiracies.
"Given the current situation and the harsh conditions of the region", added Patriarch Theophilos in his opening speech, "it is imperative that our attention is focused on the need to reduce human suffering" and to "protect the Christian presence. This - said the Head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem - is our responsibility, we should not and cannot expect others to do this for us, as spiritual leaders we are obliged to do".
Many speeches of the heads and representatives of Churches - from Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros to Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, from Armenian Catholicos Aram I to Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Yohanna X - faced many emergencies regarding Middle Eastern Christian communities in this historic moment . Many stressed the need to find new effective ways to live communion among the baptized and the urgent need to nurture the tradition of coexistence and dialogue between Christians and Muslims, to face together the disease of sectarian fanatics and find ways to assert even in Middle Eastern Countries the principles of full citizenship and equality of citizens before the law. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 07/09/2016)