Orthodox leaders assess Christian presence in the Middle East
From right to left: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa, Bishop Isaac of Apamia (representing Patriarch Ignatios IV of Antioch), Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem and Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus. © Nikos Manginas
07 September 2011
At the invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, leaders from five historic centres of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean region met in early September to discuss matters of regional and global concern. In addition to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Orthodox churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem and Cyprus were represented.
Chief among issues under discussion were the path toward peace in the Middle East and the situation of minority Christian communities during a time of turmoil. Other important topics included the preservation of the earth’s endangered eco-systems and possibilities for fostering inter-religious dialogue.
The meeting adopted a proposal for “an encounter of religious leaders in the region, where a form of Mediterranean Charter would be drafted and proclaimed”. The purpose of the charter would be to address environmental concerns and “contribute to the peaceful coexistence and cooperation among religions in this region today”.
See the full text of the Message of the Heads of the ancient Orthodox Patriarchates and the time-honoured Autocephalous Church of Cyprus (3 September 2011)