A two-week schedule of events will soon be kicked off in Rome to raise awareness for the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The program coincides with the dates of next month's Synod of the Middle East and will include the perspectives of some participants.
Beginning with the inauguration of a multi-media exhibit that sheds light on the lives of Middle Eastern Christians through images of their daily lives, the program "Sguardi sui cristiani di Medio Oriente" (A look at Christians in the Middle East) will seek to illustrate their current situation through the testimonies of those familiar with the region.
At the Rome headquarters of Italy's Catholic Action organization, synod fathers, Church officials, religious active in the Holy Land, writers and journalists will lead the initiatives from Oct. 10-24 in an attempt to shed light on the problems faced by Middle Eastern Christians and Catholics.
There will be addresses from participants on different aspects of Christian life in the Middle East, ranging from an overview of the work of Christian organizations in health care and education to the fundamental nature of pilgrimage to Christian livelihood in the region. At least three books will be presented in addition to four documentaries, one of which follows Benedict XVI along his visit to the Holy Land in 2009.
Catholic Action official Chiara Finocchietti said that the organization is promoting the initiative within the motto of the Synod, "committing itself to the Christians of the Holy Land and the Middle East, together with the many realities that work there, 'with a single heart and a single soul'."