In December 2005 the BBC offered a country-by-country guide to Christians in the Middle East. It mentioned at the outset that "Christian communities across the region are declining in numbers because of a combination of low birth rates, emigration and, in some places, persecution."
Now the situation is worse. Today Pope Benedict received members of Oriental Orthodox and Catholic members of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue among these churches. The pope commented:
"Indeed, Christian communities find it difficult to survive in the midst of such a volatile geopolitical panorama and are often tempted to emigrate," he continued. "In these circumstances, Christians of all traditions and communities in the Middle East are called to be courageous and steadfast in the power of the Spirit of Christ."Use the BBC guide to make praying for these contemporary witnesses to Jesus and his church concrete.
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