Pontiff Worries About Mideast Christians

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2009 (Zenit.org).- One of Benedict XVI's collaborators is noting the Pope's continuing concern for Middle East Christians.

Archbishop Fernando Filoni, of the Vatican Secretariat of State and former apostolic nuncio in Iraq, spoke today of the Holy Father's worry. He was speaking at the general assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches [ROACO].

"The Pope is worried above all for those who suffer because of the lack of future prospects," he said, according to L'Osservatore Romano. "Many leave their land, either for lack of posts in work or for the lack of recognition in a society influenced by Islam, for a lack of full liberty and respect."

The Pontiff again spoke personally of his concern for the persecution when he addressed the bishops of Iraq on Saturday.