BEIRUT — Lebanon has been witnessing activities by the Catholic and Orthodox churches. As the papal envoy to Lebanon, Cardinal Dominique Mamberti, was meeting with Lebanese officials and politicians during his visit to Beirut on May 29, preparations were ongoing for the annual meeting of Eastern patriarchs in Damascus on June 8, at the invitation of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X Yazigi.
There doesn’t seem to be any direct link between the two events, but the same issues were discussed at both. The meeting of the Eastern patriarchs was held at the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in the Christian neighborhood of Bab Tuma (Thomas' Gate) in the heart of Damascus. (This neighborhood owes its name to Saint Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, who passed by Damascus.) The agenda of this ecclesial meeting included the situation of Christians in the region, the challenges they face and the future of the Christian minorities in Syria and Lebanon.