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Pope Francis: Christ suffers today in the Middle East’s persecuted Christians

October 02, 2014

Pope Francis met on October 2 with Mar Dinkha IV, who has led the Assyrian Church of the East since 1975.

The church, which ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), has an estimated 400,000 members in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North America, Australia, and India. It is now headquartered in Illinois.

During their meeting, Pope Francis highlighted the progress in the theological dialogue that has taken place in recent decades. Together, the Pope said, we confess the “one faith of the apostles, the faith in the divinity and humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation.”

The Pope also discussed the persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq, regardless of “ritual or confession.”

“In them is the body of Christ that, even today, is wounded, stricken, humiliated.” There is no religious, political or economic reason that could justify what is happening to hundreds of thousands of men, women and innocent children. We feel deeply united in intercessory prayer and the action of charity towards those members of the body of Christ who are suffering.”


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