Sunday 14 May, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, marks the International Day of Prayer for Eastern Christians.
It’s an opportunity to come together to pray for peace in the world – especially in the Middle East. But with so many noble causes competing for our attention, why is it important for us to pray for the Christians of the East with whom we share an indelible link?
And how can we find out more about these Christian communities and the challenges they face? That’s the subject of this Catholic News podcast.
We’re joined by Dr Harry Hagopian, an International Lawyer with experience in conflict resolution and a consultant on the Middle East North Africa region. Importantly, Harry is an Armenian Christian and was a former Assistant General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches.
“When we pray for the Christians of the East, what we should say is, ‘May thy will be done’ and ‘thy will’ is also the will of the Christians there. They are a self-sustaining community. They have their own problems, they have their own challenges, but they also know their solutions better than we do sitting in the West watching EastEnders or Coronation Street advising them what they should or shouldn’t do. That is not being in solidarity. That is religious colonialism.
“What we need to say is, ‘I’m with you. We share one common thing, which is Jesus Christ, and therefore I pray so that you have the will, the power and the strength to continue your witness and do what you do, which is continue your life as we do here, but in different circumstances.'”