Στις 3 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014, με πρωτοβουλία του Κόπτη Επισκόπου Angaelos, έγινε στην έδρα του Αγγλικανού Αρχιεπισκόπου του Canterbury Justin Welby, στο Παλάτι Lambeth, μια συνάντηση αρχηγών και αντιπροσώπων Εκκλησιών της Μέσης Ανατολής που λειτουργούν στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, με σκοπό την αλληλοενημέρωση και την προσευχή για θέματα που απασχολούν τους χριστιανούς της ευρύτερης περιοχής της Μέσης Ανατολής, όπου το τελευταίο διάστημα παρατηρείται διωγμός και μαρτύρια πολλών μελών των χριστιανικών οικογενειών.
There was an impressive array of Orthodox and Middle Eastern clergy, including Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira (Ecumenical Patriarchate), Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh (Moscow Patriarchate), Archbishop Athanasius Thoma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Seraphim (British Orthodox Church), Bishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox Church), the Anglican Bishops of London, Southwark, Coventry and Warwick, Bishop Geoffrey Rowell (as co-chair of the Anglican-Orthodox International Commission), as well as representatives of the Syrian Catholic Church, the Chaldean Church, the Ancient Church of the East, the Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Melkite Church, the Maronite Church, and the Catholic Church and others groups working for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.
After welcoming all present, the Archbishop chaired a ‘Round Table Meeting’ at which those present were invited to comment or share information, which lasted about ninety minutes. This was followed by a Service of Prayer in the Crypt Chapel, comprising scriptural readings as well as extracts from the writings of St. Isaac of Nineveh and St. Ephrem the Syrian and Psalm CXLII (Septuagint CXLI). The hymns included St. Patrick’s Lorica and St. Bernard of Cluny’s “Jerusalem the Golden” from his De Contemptu Mundi, which seemed especially apposite for the occasion. At the conclusion the Archbishop and congregation met with the Press and the Archbishop issued a consensual statement on behalf of all present.
Η ΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΑΝΟΥ ΑΡΧΙΕΠΙΣΚΟΠΟΥ
Archbishop of Canterbury's statement on Mid-East Christians
Wednesday 3rd September 2014
After praying with Middle East church leaders at Lambeth Palace today, the Archbishop spoke out in solidarity with Christians and other minorities being persecuted in the Middle East.
"A new situation has arisen which creates a state of emergency in the Middle East for Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities. The recent increase in violence and aggression has resulted in gross violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms in the region. We gather today as Christians, including those originally from the Middle East, to stand in solidarity and prayer with our brothers and sisters, who seek to practice their faith and belief in lands where they have been a continuing presence since the beginning of Christianity.
"The Middle East is the birthplace of Christianity, and home to indigenous Christian communities that have been an indispensible part and of its history. Despite the challenges, Christians in the region were and are a stabilising and reconciling presence. Today, particularly in Iraq and Syria, they are at great risk from violence fostered by extremist ideologies which no longer see them as being part of the future. The Middle East is in desperate danger of losing an irreplaceable part of its identity, heritage, and culture.
"We are seeing an extreme religious ideology that knows no limits in its persecution of those who are culturally or religiously different. Those who promote this intolerance must be challenged and the perpetrators of violence held to account without impunity. The suffering of those who bear the brunt of its terror requires us to act and bear witness to their plight, whatever ethnic group or religious minority they come from. We must provide relief and safety for those displaced and in fear of their lives, in consultation with our partners in the region. We must also bring pressure to bear on those who can provide security to those affected.
"In meeting and praying together, we give thanks for our brothers and sisters as they continue to live their Christian faith with strength and perseverance. We commit to continue to stand with them in prayer, to speak for freedom in the persecution for Christians and all other religious communities and those of no faith who live as minority groups across the region. We also continue to urge Her Majesty’s Government to work within the international community to safeguard and provide for all those affected.
"To our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, we use these words: We 'share with you in Jesus the persecution and the kingdom and the patience and the endurance.' (Revelation 1:9)"