Hong Kong Christian delegation to visit Patriarch Bartholomew
Anglican, Methodist and Orthodox representatives will meet today with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Ist in Istanbul, to speak of cooperation and unity. It is hoped that the eight day voyage will serve to re-enforce unity between Christians.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A Christian delegation from Hong Kong embarked on a historic trip to Turkey his week, to meet the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Ist to discuss greater co-operation and unity.  The nine person delegation is lead by the president of the Christian Council Anglican bishop Thomas Soo Yee-po.

Metropolitan Nikitas, the Orthodox archbishop of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, who organized the trip, said “it will be the first time the city’s Christian leaders will meet the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians”.

“The Hog Kong Christian Council wants to learn more about the Orthodox Church, - said Nikitas – and all of us would like to build a closet relationship.  The visit will be an occasion for open dialogue”.  

Rev. Ralph Lee Ting-sun, of the Methodist Church will also be taking part in the visit.  He said that the city’s Protestants hoped to achieve greater unity and co-operation on a theological and practical level with their Orthodox counterparts.  “The meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew – he added – will advance the spirit of unity between our respective Churches”.

During the eight day visit, the Hong Kong delegation will visit several Holy Sites of the Eastern Churches, including the Hagia Sophia Museum, the sixth century basilica that was converted to a Mosque in 1453 after the fall of Constantinople, renamed Istanbul by the Ottomans.