Holy Synod of Syriac Orthodox Church regrets int’l silence on terrorist acts in Syria and Iraq

Damascus Countryside, SANA – The Holy Synod of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church meeting in Syria regretted the international silence on the terrorist and vandalism acts taking place in Syria and Iraq.

In the final statement issued on Saturday at the end of its regular session of 2015, held in Maaret Saidnaya town near Damascus, the Synod referred to the destruction of archeological and historical sites and holy worship places in the two neighboring countries at the hands of terrorists.

It also referred to the abduction of the two Aleppo bishops John Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, who have been held in terrorists’ captivity since April, 2013.

The statement called on the international community and decision-makers in the world to work for establishing peace in the region, vowing adherence to living in fraternity and commitment to the homeland.

Two days ago, the Synod delegation met with President Bashar al-Assad to whom they expressed their belief that Syria will remain, as it has always been, a homeland for all of the Syrians with their various affiliations and “a sanctuary” for all those who believe in the generous values of humanity in spite of the ferocious terrorist war waged against the country.

They considered holding this year’s session of the Synod in the Syrian town of Saidnaya at this time as carrying a message of support for the Syrian people.

In the Synod’s final session, Patriarch of Antioch for the Syriac Catholic Church Mar Ignatius Joseph III Younan called for the unity of the Antioch church in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.

Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East Mar Ignatius Afram II, for his part, said the meeting’s objective was to discuss the affairs of the Syrians who are passing through tough times, hoping that Syria will return as it once was, a country of peace and stability.

He said the Christians have their roots running deep in Syria and Iraq. “No one can imagine this part of the world, particularly Syria and Iraq, without the Christian component,” he added.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All East John X Yazigi said “gatherings are what Christian life is all about,” imploring God for peace to prevail in Syria again.

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All EastGregory III Laham said faith is an integral part of the peaceful solutions to world crises, indicating that the world “has to find a way other than war.”

Earlier today, the participants in Saidnaya meetings, which started on June 8, held a prayer for peace to prevail in Syria at St. Peter & Paul Cathedral of St Ephrem’s Monastery, where the meetings took place.

Patriarch Mor Ignatius II of Antioch and All The East, who is the Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, performed the prayers along with Patriarch John X (Yazigi), Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham) and Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan.

Haifa Said/Manal

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