Bishop Elias Toume of Wadi Al Nassara, a resident bishop in the region of Homs, Syria will offer a talk on “Christians in Syria at the Crossroads” at Hellenic College Holy Cross on March 28 at 7:00 p.m. Living in the war-torn area of Homs, Bishop Elias will share an insider’s perspective on the great challenges and suffering that the Christian minority has faced over the past three years of the Syrian conflict.
“The release of 13 Greek Orthodox Christian nuns in Syria on March 9 is only the most recent example of the danger and persecution which confront Christians in Syria, who make up five to eight percent of the country’s population,” said Fr. Luke Veronis, Director of the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity at Hellenic College Holy Cross. “In the northern city of Raqqa, a radical Islamic group has recently started forcing Christians to pay a protection tax, and greatly limited any public expression of their faith.”
Bishop Elias, who is also a professor at the University of Balamand in Lebanon, will speak on these issues and others as a part of the Boston Theological Institute’s 2014 Costas Consultation, Christians in Syria at the Crossroads: Persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
The day-long consultation will also include a showing of Fady Mekhaeel’s Displaced in their Homeland at 1:30 p.m., a film about the fate of Christians in Iraq since the beginning of the Iraqi war. At 4:00 p.m., Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou will speak on “Persecution of Christians in the Middle East.” Prodromou is former Vice Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and a visiting professor at Harvard and Tufts.
Hellenic College Holy Cross is the intellectual, educational, and spiritual center of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. With graduate and undergraduate programs for men and women, HCHC has prepared leaders for more than 75 years.