The Hauran Connection
A Sister Diocese Program
Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran and the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America
The Orthodox who today live in much of the territory once known as Arabia Petraea – descendants of those converted to faith in Christ Jesus by St. Timon – comprise the faithful of the Archdiocese of Bosra, Hauran, Jabal al-Arab and the Golan. The present “angel of Bosra and successor to St. Timon” is Metropolitan Saba (Esper). One of the most venerable Archdioceses of our Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Bosra now finds itself facing very difficult times. Due to the frequency of warfare in that area, the occupation of much of its territory by a neighboring unfriendly nation, and the resultant unemployment and poverty, most of its people are economic refugees, having relocated to Damascus or departed for the Americas, Australia, Europe or the Gulf States.
In a gesture of Christian love and support for Metropolitan Saba and his flock, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America has committed itself to a “Sister Diocese” relationship with the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran.
“Warfare, destruction, drought, spiritual neglect, lack of job and educational opportunities.”
In southern Syria and the Golan, these are some of the words defining the struggle and suffering of the people of that region: in the mountainous Jabal Al Arab region—home of the Syrian Druze community; the farmlands of Hauran (“the granary of the Roman Empire”); and the Golan—the ravaged line of demarcation between Syria and Israel.
Only 5-10% of the population remains Christian in this troubled land. It is easy to understand the reasons for vast emigration of Christians to Damascus, and to see the need to reach out in personal friendship and support for those who remain. His Eminence Metropolitan SABA, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of the region since 1999, is charged with maintaining the faith in the midst of the predominance of Islam.
Against the hostility and poverty of the region, the need seems overwhelming and never ending. But by the grace of God, the example of our kind and loving Bishop, and the generosity of the faithful in our diocese, we can reach out with the kind of personal support that will enable us to partner in extending the arms of Jesus to the faithful of that needy land, and to those who have only begun to taste the goodness of God that we so richly enjoy in ours.