- Pro-Oriente Second Colloquium Syriacum was held on 4-6 November, 2009 at Vienna. The Theme of the Symposium was Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India Today:
Contributions and challenges.
At the Inaugural session the Archbishop of Vienna H.E. Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn presided over the opening prayer and cordially welcomed the participants. He recalled spirit and vision of the founder of PRO Oriente, the late Cardinal Franz Koenig, whose life was dedicated to dialogue and a profound love for Oriental Christianity. A greeting of Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was read. He expressed his deep hope that the studies of the Pro Oriente Colloquium Syriacum highlighting the urgency of religious freedom and pluralism will contribute to a strengthening of the ecumenical dialogue. Further he encouraged the participants to reflect together on the motives and impacts of emigration for the future of Christianity in the Middle East. Pro Oriente President Johann Marthe welcomed the participants, who came from India, Syria, USA, Lebanon, Great Britain, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.
The following ten papers were presented :
- Christianity in the Middle East: some historical facts and demographic figures ( Prof. Dr. Dietmar Winkler, Salzburg, Austria).
- Cultural, social and educational Contributions of Syriac
Christianity in the South India ( Rev. Dr. Baby Varghese, Koyyayam,
- Christians In Iran and Iraque: Which contribution to Society? (Pro. Dr.Herman Teule, Nijmegen, The Netherlands).
- Cultural,social and educational contributions of Syriac Christianity in Syria and Lebano. (Prof. Dr. Karam Rizk, Lebanon).
- Religious Freedom, Education, pluralism, personal status of
Syriac christianity in India. (Rev. Dr. Philp Nelpuraparambil, India).
- The Church-State Relations in Modern Iraque. (Prof. Dr. Anthony O'Mahony, London, Great Britain).
- Religious Freedom,Education, Personal Status of Syriac Christianity in Syria and Turkey ( H.E. Dr. Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, Aleppo, Syria).
- The Contribution of the Syriac Family to the experience of Islamo-Christian Co-existance in Lebanon. ( Mor Paul Matar, Beirut, Lebanon).
- Emigration of Syriac Christians moving from India- Motivesand Impact. ( H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Theophilose Metropolitan of Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch , Kerala, India).
- Emigration of Syriac Christians moving from Middle East- Motives and Impact. Prof. Dr. Martin Thamcke, Goettingen, Germany).
- Prof. Dr. Sidney Griffith, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Brock were some of the other important participants of the Symposium.
The participants of the 2nd Pro Oriente Colloquim Syriacum make an urgent appeal to those Churches in regions where emigrated Syriac or other Middle Eastern Christians are to be found, to assist them in every possible way to preserve their cultural and spiritual traditions (including their languages), in their new situation.
Source: Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo and Environs