One of the Pope's main concerns is the situation of Christians who are forced to leave their countries due to social and religious motives.
That is why organizations like ROACO, the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, oversees the welfare and the safety of the Christian community in the Middle East. Msgr. Peter Bray
Vice Chancellor, Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
I think there is a real issue about Christians in the Middle East, just in terms that they are a minority there and trying to keep their presence there around shrines, around places that are very central to Christianity.
ROACO's reunion was held in Rome this year, and focused on the situation of Catholics in India and the Ukraine.
The organization agreed that the constant growth of the Church in India requires the creation of more dioceses in the country.
Regarding the Ukraine, they pointed out that the situation has improved in recent years. Just more than two decades ago, the country banned the presence of priests or any type of pastoral structure.
ROACO also touched upon the situation of Christians in Palestine. For instance, their opportunities to attend college.Msgr. Peter Bray
Vice Chancellor, Bethlehem University in the Holy LandOne of the issues that we are constantly faced with now is the difficulties students have in getting to the University, particularly the ones from East Jerusalem, who have to come through the wall and have to come through the checkpoints.
A total of 438 students from Gaza have graduated from Bethlehem University. An institution that was funded largely by ROACO. That is why during this year's meeting it was decided to ask Israel to ease the entry and exit from Gaza for the students of this university.