In the Middle East, for many years, the situation of Christians is not good. Islam,
which appeared in this area in the seventh century, was crowding out Christianity
from the very beginning. There were, however, periods of peaceful coexistence in
this area between Christianity and Islam. Recent years have led to a significant
decrease in the number of Christians in the Middle East. This situation was acutely
felt by the Churches in this area. At the same time, for many centuries, there have
been divisions between Christians, especially in this area, originating from ancient
In order to remedy the existing problems, the Holy See convened for October
2010 a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops devoted to the Middle East.
The sessions of the synod resulted in the apostolic exhortation Ecclesia in Medio
Oriente. It was signed by Pope Benedict XVI in Lebanon in 2012. Despite the fact
that the documents of the Church devoted to the Middle East were many in the
past, this adhortation was characterized by an indication of evangelization
opportunities in this area and around the world.
It was the missionary character of Ecclesia in Medio Oriente that encouraged to
undertake a dissertation indicating the universal nature of this exhortation. The
aim of the dissertation was to indicate the missionary elements of this document
both in the Middle East and in the universal scope. For a better understanding of
the intentions of Benedict XVI included in the exhortation in the first chapter of
the dissertation, its foundations were rooted in the documents of the Second
Vatican Council. The transformation in the scope of the mission that took place
at the Council was shown. Changes in this area were also continued in the
following years. That is why the dissertation presented documents related to postconciliar
missions. In particular, attention was paid to the missionary pontificate
of John Paul II. The Redemptoris missio encyclical was shown as an element that
sets the direction for the exhortation of Benedict XVI.
The next part of the work pointed to the 2010 Synod of Bishops' meeting and
their missionary character. The Lineamenta was presented as a document
preparing the ground for the synod. In connection with this, reasons for convening
the Synod were presented related to the difficult situation in the Middle East. This
part of the work also presented the Apostolic Exhortation itself, Ecclesia in Medio
Oriente. The missionary character of this document was presented as well as the
most important evangelizing factors related to the exhortation.
The third part of the dissertation showed the most important tasks related to
evangelism in accordance with the adhortation. The role of patriarchs as those
who are particularly responsible for the missionary work is presented. They are
also obliged, like all believers, to strive for unity. In connection with this,
ecumenical factors as well as those related to interreligious dialogue were shown.
The great role of the liturgy as an evangelizing factor has been shown after the
Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente.
The Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente presented in this way
showed evangelization opportunities in difficult, unfavorable conditions. The
document showed the need for evangelization both in the Middle East and around