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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-17 13:40:27
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Intervention of H. Exc. Shahan SARKISSIAN, Bishop of Alep, Primate of the Armenians in Syria (SYRIA)

In “Christianity at the Crossroads in the Middle East”, published in 1981, His Holiness Aram 1st already expressed himself in these terms: “The Middle East was the cradle of the Church, but her Christian presence is threatened there today. In this region, which was the source of Christian culture and theological thinking, the Christian culture and identity is weakened. Also, the Church fights for her existence and survival in the Middle East”. This concern that his Holiness expressed way before, today is more than a reality. There are situations in which the efforts of the Church are limited. This means that it is obviously impossible to drastically change the conditions that surround us. However, as Church, we could determine together the process related to our commitment in view of a renewal and internal solidarity that is more effective. The following priorities are drawn to the attention of the Synod:
1. We must more concretely and more clearly manifest the Unity of the Churches that make up more than ever today an imperative for the Middle East. With respect for the ecclesiological differences, the Churches must always be together, to plan together and to work together.
2. Mutual respect and reciprocal understanding constitute the basis for dialogue and Islamic-Christian co-existence. To deepen co-existence with Islam while remaining faithful to their Christian mission and identity.
3. Christian witness is also the vocation of the Church. To relaunch and promote Christian education, spiritual renewal and the diakonia, internal evangelization and the transmission of Christian values to the young, active participation with the laity in the life and vocation of the Church is considered as a priority.
4. To underline the importance of institutional ecumenical cooperation as well as bilateral theological dialogue. The reform and the reorganization of the Council of Churches of the Middle East, today, constitutes a major priority to which the Church members are already promised.
This synod is considered, in a certain way, by his Holiness Aram 1st as the synod of all the churches of the Middle East, because we face the same conditions, we share the same problems and are faced with the same challenges. In consequence, we should concentrate collectively on the Christian presence and witness in the Middle East and consecrate ourselves all together to reorganize and renew our commitment and our mission.

[00150-02.03] [DF006] [Original text: French]


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