Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Alepo, Syria, has said that âthe Church needs
Christians in the Middle Eastâ and has therefore called it essential
that the exodus of faithful away from the region be slowed.
In statements to the group, Aid to the Church in Need, the archbishop pleaded for renewed efforts to keep Christians in Syria. He said that currently only 10% of the 17 million inhabitants of the country âare authentic witnesses of Christ and the Gospels.â
Likewise, he said Syrian Christians suffer because of Islamic fundamentalism and violence and that therefore âinter-religious and ecumenicalâ dialogue is important.
In order to facilitate such a dialogue, he announced that his archdiocese would establish a center to help bring about reconciliation and understanding among Syrians.