Greek-Orthodox Archbishop Antoine Shedrawi, the Metropolitan of Mexico and Central America, condemned the daily killing and harassment of Christians during a visit this week to the Maronite patriarch of Lebanon, Mar Bechara el-Rahi.
Christians of the Middle East are “indigenous people,” said the archbishop, adding that they would defend their land until the “last drop of their blood.” He said that they have also raised their voices in Mexico to highlight the situation of Christians in the Middle East.
The bishop, who was accompanied by Chilean Bishop Sergio Abed, said that his visit to the Maronite patriarch was to emphasize “they stand by him in this fierce battle in the Middle East.”
“We are here today to participate in the Holy Synod. We have come to visit His Eminence to see the status of the nation amid the shameful situation it has reached, especially the situation of Christians,” Abed added.
He said that they are working in the diaspora to bring all components together to promote respect for all religions, and that he calls on all heads of Christian communities to unite in solidarity.
Bishop Abed expressed his concern about what is happening in the region.
“We love to live with everyone, and we do not accept anyone to teach us how we should coexist. Our message is one of love and peace, because the God of peace is our Lord Jesus Christ, and God is love. Our history is known, as well as our roots, and this is our mission that we carry out proudly and joyfully,” he said.
“We are the fabric of the Middle East, and refuse to become strangers. We will therefore not allow them to obliterate our history. This is our work in the diaspora, and without the presence of the church there, our children would cut off their ties to their mother country. We are anguished to see irresponsible governments that take care of everything except the homeland. We hope we see our homeland the best country,” Bishop Abed added.
Christians in the Middle East have suffered from frequent violence following the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolutions in 2011. The countries in which these revolutions erupted have witnessed increasing attacks on Christians, their property and their churches.