The President of the Community of Sant'Egidio, taking part in the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops as auditor, by appointment of the Holy Father, addressed the gathering during the Seventh General Congregation.
We give below extracts from his remarks.
"It is in the interest of Muslim societies that Christian communities should remain lively and active in the Middle Eastern world. A Middle East without Christians would mean the loss of a presence within Arab culture, one capable of making pluralist claims in the face of political Islam and Islamisation. Without them, Islam would be more isolated and fundamentalist. Christians represent a form of resistance to an Islamising totalitarianism. Their presence in the Middle East is in the general interest of the societies there, and of Islam. ... Not only is there a Christian past to be defended in the Middle East, but also a vision of the future based on the conviction that all Christians have a historical vocation: to communicate the name of Jesus, to live it and, thus, to work creatively to build a civilisation of coexistence, something the whole world needs. Here lies the duty of dialogue. ... The Middle Eastern Churches could be the artisans of a civilisation of coexistence, an example to the world, if they reintegrate and re-claim the high and strong sense of their mission".
LINK: Vatican Information Service