As I worship the Great Creator today, my main prayer is for justice, protection, and peace for the civilians in Syria. I cry for the 500,000+ who died in these conflict. I cry with their families. I lament the fact that majority in the West are supporting the lies that are being fed through the Big Media. I cry in prayer against the current actions of the governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, and France to advance their greed for wealth and power — that is, petrodollar hegemonism.
I’m aware of the danger of a polarized understanding of this very complicated armed conflict. But then, in the final analysis, I have to listen to the discerning voice of the segment of the global Body of Christ in Syria. I also respect the witness of my fellow Christian peacebuilder on the ground, Rev. Fr. Andrew Ashdown, who is also a priest at The Church of England.
And so, at the height of the debate on the ethics and legality of the recent air strikes by the governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France, I’m expressing my solidarity with the leaders of various Christian churches in Syria.
A Statement Issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholic
Damascus, 14 April 2018
God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!
We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:
- This brutal aggression is a clear violation of the international laws and the UN Charter, because it is an unjustified assault on a sovereign country, member of the UN.
- It causes us great pain that this assault comes from powerful countries to which Syria did not cause any harm in any way.
- The allegations of the USA and other countries that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons and that Syria is a country that owns and uses this kind of weapon, is a claim that is unjustified and unsupported by sufficient and clear evidence.
- The timing of this unjustified aggression against Syria, when the independent International Commission for Inquiry was about to start its work in Syria, undermines of the work of this commission.
- This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
- This unjust aggression encourages the terrorist organizations and gives them momentum to continue in their terrorism.
- We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to play its natural role in bringing peace rather than contribute to escalation of wars.
- We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.
- We salute the courage, heroism and sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army which courageously protects Syria and provide security for its people. We pray for the souls of the martyrs and the recovery of the wounded. We are confident that the army will not bow before the external or internal terrorist aggressions; they will continue to fight courageously against terrorism until every inch of the Syrian land is cleansed from terrorism. We, likewise, commend the brave stand of countries which are friendly to the Syria and its people.
We offer our prayers for the safety, victory, and deliverance of Syria from all kinds of wars and terrorism. We also pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, and call for strengthening the efforts of the national reconciliation for the sake of protecting the country and preserving the dignity of all Syrians.
May the Great Creator strengthen the will of the Syrian people to stand up against the war-mongering greed for oil-and-weapons-based wealth and political-military-media manipulations of the superpowers who are interested to have control over Syria.