Fr. Andre Mahanna, USA President of the Apostolic Union of Clergy
Father Andre is uniquely qualified to speak to the topic of terrorism and the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. He grew up in war torn Lebanon. As a boy accompanying his father on government trips to Muslim and Christian regions, he heard stories of religious-based crimes by both Muslims and Christians. At 10, his family (along with 25 other families) escaped Christian massacres by living in caves in Mount Lebanon. His bed was a Phoenician tomb. By age 12, he had decided to become a monk. It was then that concern for precisely what the world is experiencing now – famine and the massacre of women and children – gave him the resolve to address inter-faith understanding and devote his life’s work to being an instrument of peace.
A citizen of the United States, Father Andre is fluent in seven languages and understands twelve. Educated in Italy, France and the USA, he addresses the hard realities of the Middle East crisis: the unspeakable horrors of millions of refugees today and how this impacts America, most importantly, how critical it is to understand what is happening in relation to continuing religious freedom.
Fr. Andre Mahanna, known simply as "Abouna" to the people of his parish, is a recognized Middle East thought-leader on the historical, religious, social, and cultural complexities of the many regions that comprise the Middle East.
He served on the Vatican’s 2010 Synod on the Middle East, and in 2012 was appointed head of the Apostolic Association of Ordained Ministers. He has authored many articles focused on the unity of Christians, religious freedom, and the Biblical foundation of Judeo-Christian values and traditions.