Pope tells Christians in Middle East to persevere faith

Published May 10th, 2009 - 09:40 GMT

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday called on Christians in the Middle East region to persevere in their faith despite the current hardships. Some 30,000 people attended a sports stadium in the Jordanian capital of Amman as Benedict celebrated the first open-air Mass of during his regionalk tour.


"The Catholic community here is deeply touched by the difficulties and uncertainties which affect the people of the Middle East," Benedict said, according to the AP. "May you never forget the great dignity which derives from your Christian heritage, or fail to sense the loving solidarity of all your brothers and sisters in the church throughout the world," he said.


The pope was welcomed at the stadium by the Latin rite patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal.


Benedict urged that the "material and moral assistance" Christians need will never be lacking. He also paid tribute to Christian women in the region, saying many have "devoted their lives to building peace and fostering harmony."


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