(MENAFN) On Saturday, Pope Francis expressed concern that Christians will disappear from the Middle East amid "murderous indifference," as church leaders from Syria and Lebanon called on Western states to help return Syrian refugees.
The Argentine Pope was addressing the leaders of almost all the Middle Eastern churches gathered in the port city of Bari to pray for peace in the region. "The Middle East has become a land of people who leave their own lands behind," Francis said.
"There is also the danger that the presence of our brothers and sisters in the faith will disappear, disfiguring the very face of the region".Indifference kills, and we desire to lift up our voices in opposition to this murderous indifference."
Lebanese cardinal Bechara Rai, the patriarch of the Maronite Church, said governments should from now on encourage Syrian refugees to return to their country, because "bombings are extremely localised".
States must "financially help people driven from their lands to repair their homes," he said, instead of "repeatedly saying that there is no peace."
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