Armenian Catholic Church: Eastern Christians should not be abandoned

The Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church called for more to be done to strengthen Christian communities in the Middle East and North Africa.

Headed by the Catholicos of Cilicia, Patriarch Raphael Pedros XXI Minassian, and with the participation of Archbishops and Metropolitans from Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, France, the United States, Canada, and Latin America, the Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church was held in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Bzommar, Lebanon.

The Synod focused on several points, including the importance of the Christian presence in the East and the rejection of the displacement of Christians and their expulsion from the region, in addition to the need to preserve human rights and religious freedoms.

They issued a statement delivered by Archbishop Krikor Augustinus Koussa, which included a reminder of the most important meetings, occasions, and ceremonies that the Armenian Catholic Church will hold and observe, in addition to a study of the situation of dioceses and the necessary measures to elect new bishops.

The Synod called on officials in the governments of Armenia, Karabakh, Syria, and Lebanon to listen to their peoples and secure their desires to live their lives in dignity, security, and peace.

Waves of emigration of Christians from the Middle East and their historical lands have repeatedly occurred for centuries. Christians have been targeted for genocide, displacement, and oppression by various groups and governments. The Islamic State (ISIS) is perhaps the most extreme example of Christian persecution in the Middle East but the governments of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have all instituted policies or practices in the recent decades that have caused many Christians to emigrate.