Calling on Western partners to help keep Christianity in its ancient homeland, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch John X Yazigi said Christians in the Middle East “are not strangers in that part of the world” and the church is “the beacon of truth in this agitated world.”
“We as Christians in the Middle East: we are going to remain and stay there,” the patriarch said at a press conference for the In Defense of Christians summit in Washington, D.C., according to Crux. “We are not strangers in that part of the world: we are people of light and of truth.”
The Church, he added, “is the beacon of truth in this agitated world and we will continue to witness to that truth even if we are hanged on the Cross.”
Also present at the summit, titled American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East, which ended Thursday, were patriarchs of Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Middle Eastern Christians of all denominations and policy leaders from the United States.
Yazigi stressed that Christians in the Middle East need to have the “right to express on our destiny and our own plight.”
“The Church is the beacon of truth in this agitated world and we will continue to witness to that truth even if we are hanged on the Cross,” he said.
Middle Eastern Christians should also be partners in finding peace, he added. “Sometimes the media may portray us in a negative way, not necessarily in the way that we would have us portrayed … If we are talking about our destiny in our land, we have something to say.”
A solution the patriarch proposed for Christians of the Middle East is the ability to “seek unity of our own country” and rebuild their lives in their own homelands. “We call all Christians and Muslims to work together for the well-being of their country.”
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Source: Christian Post