Noted Middle East cleric to discuss plight of Christians in the Middle East at Rancho Santa Fe event


A Protestant pastor from Damascus, Syria, will make a special stop in Rancho Santa Fe next month for a free discussion on how the current unrest in the Middle East is impacting Christians.

The Rev. Boutros Zaour will appear at the Village Community Church from 7 to 8 p.m. Aug. 16, preceded by a free wine and appetizer reception starting at 6 p.m. The Rev. Zaour has been the pastor of the 600-member Presbyterian Church in Damascus for 18 years. Located in the heart of the Old City, the congregation has welcomed Iraqi refugees as well as fellow Syrians who have been displaced from other parts of the country.

“We will hear directly from a man deeply involved in being a witness of hope to a war-torn region,” said the Rev. Dr. Jack Baca, senior pastor of the Village Community Church.

“Rev. Zaour will outline how we can support Christians and other minorities in the Middle East,” Baca added.

Zaour serves on several councils of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and meets regularly with Muslim leaders prominent in Damascus. He will address the needs of the region in the midst of continued war.

On most Sundays, members of his congregation make their way to church passing concrete blast walls and imposing camouflaged tanks, while the air is punctuated by the rumble of exploding artillery a few miles away.

The talk and reception are free to the public, but space is limited. RSVPs are requested. The event will be held at the Village Community Church Fellowship Center, 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Register online at or contact Mary Caldwell at 858-756-2441 or