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Intervention of Mons. Youhannes ZAKARIA, Bishop of Luxor, Thebes of the Copts (EGYPT)


My intervention concentrates on the renewal of the missionary activity of the Eastern Churches, since the Instrumentum laboris did not deal with this sufficiently.
From the beginning of Church history, the faithful of the East were characterized by missionary zeal, and by enthusiasm in realizing the Lord’s mandate, which asks for the preaching of the Gospel throughout the world.
The weakness and division of the Roman Empire, the violence of national conflicts, the adversity in dogmatic discussions between Christians, the divisions of the Church and successively, the Arab and Islamic dominions in the Middle East have weakened the Eastern Churches, and have conditioned their presence in the East; and as a result there has been a drop in missionary enthusiasm, and the evangelical impulse has been reduced, as mentioned in the Instrumentum laboris no. 20.
Despite the fact that the Church in the Middle East today is a minority living in the midst of a non-Christian majority, and is fighting against the danger of its own decline, and is struggling to maintain Christian faith in the hearts of its faithful, this Church must not be afraid or be ashamed and must not hesitate in obeying the mandate of the Lord which asks it to continue teaching the Gospel.
Starting from this Synod, I ask our Eastern Churches to renew their missionary enthusiasm and their preaching activities; they furthermore must promote the formation of their children that they may rediscover their missionary vocation and be encouraged to enthusiastically consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel, thus participating with the children of the Universal Church, especially those of the Western Church, in the service of the preaching of the Word of God throughout the world.

[00027-02.02] [IN006] [Original text: Italian]



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