AMMAN — Patriarch of the Latin Church in Jerusalem Fouad Twal said on Tuesday that ongoing violence and distress in the Middle East is the reason why the Middle East Council of Churches immediately needs to join forces to address the impact of this reality on all, mainly the Arab Christians.

“The current situation has motivated all to strive for unity in order to overcome the human threats and spread the culture of love and peace.”

He was speaking on the sidelines of the general assembly meeting of the Middle East Churches Council, which began in Amman. 

He told The Jordan Times that this year, a spirit of enthusiasm and hope is sensed among church leaders “more than any time before”.

He said that most of the speeches focused on the problems Christians face in the region.

“I truly hope that we [the general assembly] will be at the end of the conference more willing to help and support each other,” adding that unity should be the target of ongoing efforts and discussions.

He said that the Latin Church through Caritas provides lots of help to displaced Christians, stressing that the non-stop work goes “beyond the capability of one single church”.

“Joint efforts make a difficult job easier and make a huge difference,” Patriach Twal said.

The Jerusalem-based religious leader said that it is obvious that the Palestinian conflict is being marginalised and ignored, and called on international decision makers to make the right decisions that serve the best interests of all people living in the region.

Meanwhile, Manic Younan, Bishop of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Jordan and the Holy Land told The Jordan Times that Jordan is the living example of harmonious living and coexistence, and that extremist thought is alien to “our common culture”.

“We should learn from the Common Word and the Amman Message [the two major Jordan-launched interfaith initiatives], and spread their values since they stress the message of the love of God and neighbours.”

A participant in the conference, Hamdi Murad, a Muslim expert and researcher in social, educational and religious issues, said that the council’s meeting is a step further in bringing harmony and cooperation among churches, which eventually would reflect positively on societal harmony.

He said that the fact that the meeting took place in Amman reflects the peace and stability of Jordan.

Source: Jordan Times