Reiterating its commitment towards the Asian Diaspora of the member churches of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in the Arabian Gulf countries, a pastoral solidarity team visited the United Arab Emirates and met with the representatives of the Diaspora of the Asian churches.
The solidarity team comprised 13 executive committee members and staff of CCA from churches in New Zealand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, India, South Korea, and Malaysia.
The members of the team participated in worship services at different Asian congregations with members from India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Korea, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
In a meeting held at the Mor Ignatius Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in Jebel Ali on the outskirts of Dubai on June 28, the representatives of the Asian Christian communities in the UAE, the pastoral solidarity team heard the concerns and issues of millions of Asians working in the Arabian Gulf countries.
While describing CCA’s programmes related to the “people of Asia on the move within and beyond Asia”, CCA General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara said that the visits to different Asian congregations in the UAE en route to the CCA Executive Committee meeting to be held in Lebanon next week was an expression of solidarity and pastoral care of the CCA as well as an effort to understand the situation of Asians living and working in the Arabian Gulf countries.
The members of the team visited labour camps to acquaint themselves with the situation of the Asian Diaspora living in labour camps.
As part of CCA’s ongoing programme involvement related to people on the move within and beyond Asia, the CCA General Secretary said that an international ecumenical consultation was scheduled to take place in November 2018 to bring together Church leaders from Asia and representatives of the Asian diaspora in the Arabian Gulf region.
The Asian diaspora in the Arabian Gulf region are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, and South Korea.
Bishop Yuhanon Mar Joseph of the Chaldean Syrian Church, and Fr. Abin Abraham, the Vicar of the host Church welcomed the gathering.
Mr Solomon David who coordinated the CCA visits and meetings described the solidarity visit as well as the interactions with the Asian church leaders and the Asian Diaspora member churches of the CCA as a start-up one to look at possibilities for a common ecumenical platform of Asian Christians in the Gulf to address the concerns of all Asians irrespective of religion, nationality or ethnicity.
The Vice Moderator of CCA, Rev Diana Tana, expressed appreciation to the host church and the representatives of Asian churches gathered for the evening get-together and thanked the Asian community for extending a warm welcome to CCA governing board members and staff.
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