Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Patriarchs of the East and the Ambassadors from diverse nations are set to meet today at the Maronite Patriarchate in Bkerke. The summit is part of efforts by Church leaders to preserve the role of Christians in Iraq, where the Islamic State is crushing minorities forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.
The patriarchs are also preparing letters to the major powers of the Western and the Arab worlds to encourage them to preserve the regions' multiculturalism and the presence of Christians.
Last week, Patriarch Rai visited the Christian and Yazidi refugees in Erbil (Kurdistan, see photo) and together with the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako have launched appeals to the international community to stop standing idly by watching the massacre unfold.
Even Pope Francis, during his return trip from Seoul said that it is necessary "to stop an unjust aggressor," suggesting a collective action led by the UN. However, according to the Patriarchs, the delay in electing the President of Lebanon, who should be a Christian, is part of this campaign to erase their contribution to Arab society and the Middle East.