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Middle East Clerics Issue Statement Condemning U.S. Attack on Syria

Middle East Clerics Issue Statement Condemning U.S. Attack on Syria

A Statement 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.

*****

Statement by the National Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon

We, Presbyterian Churches in Syria and Lebanon, condemn the oppressive aggression carried out in Syria at the dawn of April 14, 2018 by worldly powers. Powers that were supposed to responsibly respect the international law and sovereignty of nations, through their role in the Security Council. But unfortunately, their aggression came through the fabrication of charges, without legal justification. The strike came as an evidence of a desire to destabilize Syria after the National Army and government are close to eradicating terrorism and eventually stop the violence in the country.

The recent aggression is to try to turn the clock back to the midst of the crisis. Moreover, the strike came in contradiction to the desire of the Syrian people in moving to a secure life, built on dialogue and political solutions under the roof of a state and national army. The unjust aggression came, asserting that imperial mindset and tyranny of might, still inhabit and move superpowers, without any recognition of the rights of other nations.

We deplore what Syria had been subjected to, to push the Syrians to surrender to the logic of force that does not respect the sovereignty of States. We demand that international legitimacy to be only place where to appeal to and prevail. Otherwise, we will leave the law of the jungle to control the fate, wealth and capabilities of the people, without any human, moral or legitimate deterrent.

Our Church in Syria and Lebanon appeals to sister Churches in the West, with which we share the Gospel of Christ, to exert maximum pressure on their governments and diplomacy not to repeat those adventures that undermine the chances of stability awaiting our county. We also call on those Churches to raise awareness about the Syrian crisis and what has been achieved in Syria so are to defeat the threat of terrorism that threatens our region and the world at large.

As we declare this, we ask God Almighty to give our leadership, government, and National Army all wisdom and steadfastness in the face of evil forces. We lift our prayers for a strong Syria that upholds the values of peace, human dignity and peaceful coexistence among all it components.

The Rev. Joseph Kassab,
General Secretary
National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon

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