Be Not Afraid, Middle East Christians

There is great uncertainty and great fear” among Christians in Egypt and Syria, said Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M., on Aug. 24. But Christians should take courage. “We must not be afraid...to say how things really are with clarity, but also maintaining a Christian attitude of witness, openness, welcome and trying in every case to reconstruct dialogue and relationships,” he said, speaking during a conference sponsored by the Communion and Liberation movement in Rimini, Italy. The changes sweeping through countries across North Africa and extending to Syria obviously give rise to hopes, but also concerns, he said. “Right now in Egypt there is much fear and uncertainty because, after a period of euphoria” and unity after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, “it seems that the more fundamentalist parties are prevailing,” he said. In Syria, “Christians were and still are treated with great respect,” but the protest movements against the government have led to concerns that the respect they were guaranteed for decades may be threatened.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The latest from america

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington's retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a "lapse of memory," clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, but he had "forgotten" about it.
Pope Francis meets with the leadership of the Chilean bishops' conference at the Vatican on Jan. 14 to talk about the sex abuse crisis affecting the church in Chile. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
The pope wants the February summit “to be an assembly of pastors, not an academic conference—a meeting characterized by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 16, 2019
This week on “Inside the Vatican,” we explore the topic of women deacons.
Colleen DulleJanuary 16, 2019
Women served as deacons in Europe for about a millennium in a variety of ministerial and sacramental roles.
Brandon SanchezJanuary 15, 2019