Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Patriarch Ignatius Speaks against Intervention in Syria

This was published in the Syrian newspaper al-Watan  on Thursday, March 1. The Arabic original can be found here.

During his speech before the Jordanian [student] delegation, Patriarch Hazim focused on "the life shared by the Syrian people and their solidarity." He said, "The Crisis that Syria is going through does not distinguish between Christian and Muslim... the consequences of foreign intervention in our internal affairs will effect Muslims and Christians equally because the target is the Syrian people and their national unity." He added, "The terrorist bombings that a number of regions of Syria have witnessed do not distinguish between a Christian citizen and a Muslim citizen. The blood of both is mixed together."

After emphasizing "the national unity lived by Syria, which is rarely seen in the world," he said, "We spread national solidarity to other countries. Syria  has become a model of of this unity that unites her different sons. Our country has been based on cultural and civic pluralism since the early days of both Christianity and Islam. The Muslims and Christians of Syria will continually remain under the shelter of brotherhood, harmony, and love, just as they have all through history. They were born and raised together and they shall remain together."

Hazim likewise praised the religious freedom enjoyed by the Christians in Syria, "We worship in complete freedom and churches are spread throughout all regions."

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East condemned "the media campaign" against Syria, "There are more than eight hundred malicious and tendentious media channels around the world that spread misleading reports about Syria. Expertise, technology, funding, and facilities are mobilized for them in order to spread the poison  of divisive sectarian and separatist ideologies in Syria and the region."

He likewise noted the "path of reform and renewal that is being followed by the Syrian people under the leadership of President Bashar al-Asad," stating that, "Syrian citizens feel that they receive the full attention of the state and government."


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