Patriarch Gregoire III Laham: Syrian Government Is Responsible For Protecting Citizens

Greek-Melkite Patriarch Calls For Concrete and Realistic Road Map For Peace

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A primate of the Eastern Catholic Church is rejecting the notion that the jihadist-inflicted suffering inflicted on the Christian community and other parts of Middle Eastern populations are evoked to justify military intervention under what appears to be support by international organizations and the international community.

According to Fides, Greek-Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham said, «One is inconsiderate to invoke external military interventions to defend Christians in Syria and the Middle East. We are a sovereign country with a legitimate government, which is responsible for protecting its citizens.”

“If one really wants to put an end to the tragedy of the Syrian people,» the patriarch underscored, «there is only one way: stop wars, weapons, money and stratagems used to attack Syria».

On Monday, Patriarch Gregoire III presided over a Vigil prayer for peace in the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, in Damascus, Syria. It was attended by representatives and delegations of all the Catholic and Orthodox communities. 

«We shared songs and prayers of penitence and peace,» he reflected, noting that even in this way, “Christians are the true promoters of peace in Syria.»

In addition, His Beatitude noted that the way to promote peace, is for the Church to constantly indicate «to all men of good will» is that of prayer and the support offered to all that can help to stop the flow of weapons that cause bloodshed in the Middle East.”

«On Sept. 7, 2013,» the Melkite Patriarch recalled, «Pope Francis called the world to the great prayer for peace. In past days, while we were praying, the news that Western countries will re-open talks with Assad spread. The groups that terrorize our people would not have had so much strength without aid and weapons they received from other nations and groups of power.

For this reason, the primate said, he launches an appeal to Pope Francis and all the Churches and Christian communities, “so that the 2 billion Christians around the world promote a concrete and realistic road map to ask all the forces to put aside their own calculations of power and all the causes that fuel the war.»

“Only then will the suffering of our people have an end,” the Greek-Melkite patriarch stressed.

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