Print Version    Email to Friend
Catholic Russian Orthodox project

MOSCOW (AsiaNews): The plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East has become the focus of the first concrete act of cooperation between the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches following the historic meeting in Havana between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on February 12.

The Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church announced that the Moscow patriarchate and the Vatican will join forces to help restore churches in Syria.

“The need to draw up a detailed list of Christian places destroyed and damaged during the war in Syria and the strengthening of the common Christian witness of the Syrian tragedy have been recognised as a short term priority,” the Synodal Department said in a statement.

This list is the result of an April 6 and 7 visit from a joint delegation to Syria and Lebanon to investigate a series of initiatives and coordinate humanitarian aid.

The delegation visited refugee camps and had meetings with local religious leaders, including Mar Ignatius Aphrem II, patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, in Damascus.

“Everyone knows that the tragedy in the Middle East, which has caused suffering to different Christian denominations and other groups, and the need to take urgent measures to improve the situation there were the focus of the meeting in Havana,” the statement says.

More from this section