Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Religious freedom is top priority for Church leaders in Middle East

Catholic World News - December 05, 2012

Religious freedom is high on the agenda as Catholic patriarchs and bishops of the Middle East meet this week in Harissa, Lebanon, to discuss Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, the apostolic exhortation by Pope Benedict XVI that furnishes a “road map” for the work of the Church in that region.

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai told Vatican radio that the Church will defend “the right and duty of Christians to take part in national life in their various homelands and to enjoy full citizenship, without being treated as minorities. “We continue to insist, on every occasion, on the need for freedom of conscience and the separation of religion and state.”

However, religious freedom remains a controversial matter in many Islamic societies, the Maronite Patriarch said. While the Church welcomes Muslims into the schools and hospitals run by Catholic institutions, Islamic law does not grant the same sort of freedom to Christians.

Restrictions on religious freedom have a great impact on the Church’s evangelizing activities, the Maronite leader said. “Because freedom of conscience is not recognized, there are many secret conversions to Christianity in Lebanon and in Arab countries.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($6,314 to go):
$35,000.00 $28,685.73
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Oh, that sort of misconduct 11 hours ago
Don’t worry about terrorism; worry about workplace violence? 11 hours ago
Doing Great Things for Christ 13 hours ago
Two steps forward, one step back: mixed signals from Vatican on abuse and accountability September 26
The Annulment Question, and Much More September 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18