Lebanese Fr. Michel Jalakah asserts that Christians should not seek or flee from martyrdom.
The Middle East without Christians would not only be traumatic for Christianity, but for the already fragile stability of the whole region.
According to the latest estimates, there are about 20 million Christians still living in this area of the world. This is a figure that is decreasing daily due to the conflicts and intensification of religious persecution.
Fr. Michel Jalakh, Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches: “Throughout history we have experienced many persecutions. This is not the first, but I hope it is the last. We have always survived and we must always have hope in Christ because He is the one who founded the Church. We have to have hope. We have no choice but to hope and resist.”
Fr. Jalakh is the secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches. He participated in a meeting held at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he explained that the current situation of persecution is also provoking different reflections on the Muslim world. Therefore, this priest holds on to the fact that Christians can be peacemakers on this land.
Fr. Michel Jalakh, Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches: “We are children of that land and we are aware that we have a mission. The persecution is horrible, but at the same time it is causing many Muslims to question their own religion. FLASH This is provoking an internal dialogue in the Muslim world. They could not do this without the Christians and Churches that exist on that land.”
He asserts that the mission of Christians in the Middle East is to guard the roots of the faith in their own land, and to coexist with other religions. However, he recognizes that this mission is also his cross.
Fr. Michel Jalakh, Secretary, Middle East Council of Churches: “Our God did not withdraw from the Cross. The others left him, but He did not leave. We must imitate Him. We should not seek martyrdom, as St. Peter says. We should not seek suffering, we should not seek the cross, but if it arrives we should not run away from it.”
The Middle East Council of Churches was created in 1974. It unites all the Christian Churches in the region and, in addition to its spiritual dimension, it is responsible for coordinating actions in defense of Christians who are persecuted or are in need.