Heads of Churches in Syria issue statement on situation

Message from the Heads of Churches
Their Holinesses and Beatitudes the Patriarchs
To their communities and citizens in Syria

Their Holinesses and Beatitudes
Ignatios Hazim IV, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of the Greek Orthodox Church
Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East for the Syrian Orthodox Church
Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Greek Melkite Church

The Patriarchs met at St. Ephram the Syriac Monastary in Ma’arat Saydnaya on the morning of Thursday 15th December 2011.  They examined the situation which our beloved country Syria is passing through for the last nine months of events.

The Patriarchs explored the events and its outcomes which have caused pain and suffering to the country and to the people in all aspects of life.

The Patriarchs expressed:

  • their deep pain about what is occurring, and their sorrow for the loss of the lives;
  • their fear about the decline of the economic situation;
  • their acute wishes to see Syria recovering [from] its wounds.

The Patriarchs hoped that:

  • citizens of Syria may come back to each other in love, tolerance, cooperation, and wisdom;
  • the nation’s interest may [be] favor[ed above]  any other interest;
  • the people may return to their authenticity and heritage, and to their conscience and faith in dealing with each other; and in solving their problems [on] their own.

The Patriarchs rejected all sorts of foreign intervention from any foreign party. They called for lifting the sanctions which were imposed on Syria under any excuse. The Pariarchs rejected resorting to the use of any type of violence.

The Patriarchs called for:

  • peace and reconciliation between all the people under the name of God and the nation;
  • respect [for] the principles of justice, freedom, human dignity, social justice, and citizenship rights.

The Patriarchs encouraged the steps of reforms and positive actions which the government has [recently] recognized.