Final statement of an interfaith consultation on the situation in Syria
Religions for Peace, Middle East/ North Africa Council, an international and independent NGO working for peace, called for a meeting of Muslim Ulemas and Christian Clergy, in addition to a number of researchers and concerned persons from Syria and other countries, in Larnaca, Cyprus, on 22-23 February 2012.
Based on the Marrakesh Declaration (16-17 November 2011) that rejected violence, misuse of religions, acknowledged religious diversity and respect for human dignity.
Given the recent bloody developments that stir consciousness, and based on their religious and human responsibility as well as their belief in God Almighty, the participants agreed on the following:
- Our faith in the Lord inspires us to support the quest for a peaceful solution, mainly based on national dialogue and the rejection of all forms of violence regardless of its sources;
- Reject the use of military and security measures by all parties after they proved inefficient and exacerbated the problem;
- Call upon the authorities to the immediate release of prisoners of opinion to respect human dignity;
- Refuse all forms of foreign interference given that the Syrian crisis is an internal issue which should be solved only by Syrians with the support of others;
- Syria embraces all its citizens, with no distinction or discrimination, as a mother nurtures its children within its territory and abroad;
- Violating the territorial integrity of Syria and the racial, religious and denomination diversity is absolutely rejected;
- Christians and Muslims are historical components of the Syrian social fabric that should be preserved to guarantee the future, prosperity and coexistence in this country;
- Values of justice, freedom, dignity and equality are the basis of citizenship. Citizenship is not a grant but a right for every Syrian citizen;
- Reaffirm the responsibility of religious, political and cultural elites to face all forms of religious incitement, and cooperate in disseminating a message of moderation, tolerance and rejection of hatred; and
- Through Religions for Peace, we call upon all countries involved in economic sanctions imposed on Syria to reconsider these sanctions, which have affected the Syrian people, exacerbated the crisis and undermined stability and growth.
Participants pray the Lord to have mercy on the souls of Syrian martyrs, spare the lives of citizens, bring them together and establish security and safety.
Participants express their appreciation to the efforts made by the Secretariat of Religions for Peace, in the person of the Secretary General and his assistants, for hosting and supporting this meeting.