Pope and patriarch condemn Middle East persecution of Christians

The Guardian reports: The pope has concluded a three-day trip to Turkey by attending a religious service in Istanbul led by the ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the pre-eminent spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

Afterwards, both men condemned the violent persecution of many Christian communities in the Middle East, and called for peace in Ukraine.

In a joint declaration signed by Pope Francis and Bartholomew after the divine liturgy to commemorate the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, the leaders expressed concern for the increasingly volatile situation in both Syria and Iraq, and urged the international community not to turn away from their responsibility to those being oppressed and driven from their homes. [Continue reading…]

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