25 January 2018

Beginning of Week of Prayer for unity among Christians in the Middle East

From January 20 to January 28, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will take place in the Northern Hemisphere. The theme chosen for this year is "Your right hand, Lord, magnificent in power". (Exodus 15: 6)

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According to the statistics from the Center for Studies on New Religions, Christianity is the most widespread religion in the world, with two and a half billion faithful.

As for he plurality of those who believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah, only in Jerusalem, we find Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Ethiopians, Anglicans and Lutherans.

From January 20, in the context of the traditional Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Holy City, they all have gathered in a different church every day. The theme chosen for this year is "Your right hand, Lord, magnificent in power", which refers to the new forms of slavery.

H.E. Mons. PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"There are so many forms of slavery today in our social life, here, in the Middle East. The word 'slavery' evokes very serious political and social situations, in which we Christians are invited to bring a word of hope.”

Among the places that host prayers is the Cathedral of St. James is a 12th century church located in the Armenian quarter.

Fr. KORYOUN BAGHDASSARIAN
Armenian Patriarchate Secretary
"Let us put aside the theological differences and the discussions and let us promote unity in the things that matter.”

Different rituals as well as languages, but only one goal!
Christians of different denominations also gathered to pray in the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, which is located near the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher. To preside over the celebration, the newly established bishop in the Holy City.

Rev. IBRAHIM AZAR
Bishop - Lutheran Church in Jordan and in the Holy Land
"It is important to have not only a week of prayer together and a week of mutual acceptance and union, but it is also important to remember that, despite our differences, we can do many things together. Christ can lead us to walk paths that we can not even imagine and for this we pray together. "

Unity is, above all, necessary in the present context of the Middle East.

Mons. Joseph -Jules Zerey
Greek-Catholic Patriarchal Vicar – Jerusalem
"More and more, we, all Christians, all denominations, all congregations, feel that we can not be divided because our nature in Jesus Christ is to be one. Division is not normal, it goes against our nature, which is to be one as one is the Father in Christ "

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem also hosted the prayer, presided by Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

During the celebration, the candles symbolized the light of Christ that generates unity.

H.E. Mons. PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"Unity already exists, because the Church of Christ is one; we are men who must rebuild unity according to the will of God ".