02/01/2007, 00.00
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Pope urges Middle East Christians not to leave their land

Benedict XVI is deeply concerned about the fate of Christians living in difficult political situations, urges them to have courage.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Benedict XVI said that the “difficult situation which individuals and Christian communities face in the region [the Holy Land] is a cause of deep concern for us all,” adding that local Christians should not to be tempted to leave.

The Holy Father made the statement during a meeting with the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches,

He also said that in his Christmas message to Catholics living in the Middle East, he told them that he shared the concerns expressed several times by the region’s bishops that Christians might all leave the land in which Jesus was born.

Christian minorities,” he noted, “find it difficult to survive in the midst of such a volatile geopolitical panorama and are often tempted to emigrate. In these circumstances, Christians of all traditions and communities in the Middle East are called to be courageous and steadfast in the power of the Spirit of Christ.”

May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints, who have given courageous witness to Christ in these lands, sustain and strengthen the Christian communities in their faith!

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