News from the Orient – June 14, 2024

In this week's news from the Eastern Churches, produced in collaboration with L'Œuvre d'Orient, Cardinal Sako returns to Baghdad, Germany hosts a peace conference for Ukraine, and a Lebanese town is plunged into a political crisis.

This week’s News from the Orient:

Cardinal Sako Reinstated

Iraqi Prime Minister Al Soudani has reinstated the official status of Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako in his role as the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

The decision comes nearly a year after the withdrawal of his legal recognition by government authorities, which forced his exile to Erbil.

Cardinal Sako had criticized the move, attributing it to pressure from a Christian militia seeking to control Church affairs.

Cardinal Sako will now return to Baghdad, and he celebrated Mass there on Wednesday, June 12.

Reconstruction of Ukraine Conference

Berlin hosted a conference on Tuesday with 60 countries supporting Ukraine to organize the reconstruction of the country after the destruction caused by Russia over the past two years.

The meeting sought to send a new signal of solidarity with Kyiv at the start of a week of intense diplomacy.

It preceded the G7 summit, which brings together Ukraine's main Western allies in Italy, and a global peace summit to be held in Switzerland over the weekend.

Political crisis in Joun, Lebanon

The village of Joun in Lebanon has been plunged into a political crisis since the resignation of Georges Makhoul, president of the municipality, at the end of May.

In this village in the Chouf region, where Christians and Shiites live side-by-side, the position of municipal president traditionally goes to a Greek Catholic, as Christians are the majority.

According to the law, the vice-president, Houssam Chamseddine, a Shiite, must assume the interim presidency until the next municipal elections.

Christians have rejected this succession, seeking to maintain a Christian at the head of the municipality.

The crisis comes amid a context of fragility for Lebanese Christians, who feel politically marginalized, exacerbated by emigration and the rise of Hezbollah.

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14 June 2024, 16:25