Catholic World News

Christians in Middle East living the Way of the Cross, Melkite Patriarch says

February 19, 2015

Christians in the Middle East are experiencing “the fifth year of the Way of the Cross,” Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham said in his Lenten message.

The Melkite Patriarch said that the suffering of Christians in the region is one of “the greatest tragedies of history — not just in the region, but in the world — since World War Two.” He said that the Church is struggling to help believers, “as if we wash the feet of those who are suffering as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.”

Saying that Christians in the Middle East are enduring “universal suffering,” the Syrian-born Patriarch pointed to Lebanon as an illustration of how the bloodshed in Syria and Iraq have affected the entire region. Lebanon, he said, has received waves of refugees over the years, most recently accommodating Christians who have fled their homes in Syria and Iraq. Today there are 1.5 million refugees living in Lebanon, stretching that small country’s resources to the breaking point.


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