“The Christian presence and witness in the Middle East is the foundation of the Christian presence worldwide,” said Sauca. “Today we see the signs of Christ’s resurrection in your lives, in your work, in your fellowship.”
The role, voice and witness of the Middle East Council of Churches remain unshaken, said Sauca. “Today, even more than before, people look up to you as a source of wisdom, of hope and of strength,” he said. “Your role is crucial not only for the Christians of the region but also for all people of faith, for justice and peace to prevail, for life in dignity to prosper.”
Everyone is equal in terms of rights and responsibilities, noted Sauca. “No one religious or ethnic denomination makes any guarantees or grants anything to another out of ‘tolerance,’ ” he said. “We are all created in the image of God and we are all equal before the law.”
The principle of equal citizenship is therefore to be grounded in governance in all countries of the Middle East for people to live in dignity, Sauca noted.
“You, the people of this region, bear full responsibility to lead a life in accordance with your identities, hopes and aspirations,” he said. “However, we, in the ecumenical movement, are always here to accompany you, support you, walk with you on the paths that you have chosen for yourselves.”
We are living communities of faith, said Sauca. “Our dialogue is a dialogue of life, a dialogue of humanity,” he said. “Together we can build bridges so that our paths intersect and meet, so that our hearts celebrate our fellowship, so that this world is a better place to live in peace, harmony and dignity.”