Lebanese Patriarch to Discuss Impact of Arab Spring on Region’s Christians

NEW YORK — Uprisings in Syria, interreligious violence in Egypt, the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate, the worldwide economic downturn and the impact of these events on the Christian community in the Middle East will be subjects discussed by the leader of Lebanon’s Maronite Church, Bechara Peter Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, at a press conference at CNEWA, 1011 First Avenue, New York, on Thursday, 20 October, at 11 a.m.

The event marks the conclusion of the patriarch’s inaugural visit to the Maronite Catholic community in the United States, which includes visits with U.S. Catholic and ecumenical leaders and U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon.

“While the patriarch is coming to visit his flock here in the United States,” said Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Eparchy of Saint Maron in Brooklyn, “we must not forget that he is also concerned with the broader issue of the future of Christians in the Middle East, as well as the well being of the Lebanese state that was deliberately created to be a home reflecting the conviviality between Christians and Muslims.”

Founded by Pope Pius XI in 1926, CNEWA is a special agency of the Holy See providing support to the churches and peoples of the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe. In Lebanon, CNEWA supports needy child, seminarian and novice sponsorship programs and projects to redevelop and revitalize the nation’s villages, working through the local churches.

Contact: Michael La Civita, 13 October 2011
Office: 212.826.1480, extension 550

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