The Patriarchs of the Middle East met to discuss the situations facing Christians in the region, particularly those who have been displaced due to conflict.
Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai presided over the meeting which was held on Tuesday, January 27th. It concluded with a statement in which the Patriarchs urged the international community to help meet the needs of those displaced by conflicts, particularly in Syria and Iraq.
The statement also called on governments for help in securing the refugees return to their homelands as well as assistance in securing the release of abducted military and civilian personnel as well as clergymen, particularly two Middle Eastern Bishops who were kidnapped in Syria.
On April 22, 2013, Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek-Orthodox Bishop Boulos al-Yazigi were kidnapped by unknown abductors during a humanitarian mission. There has been no news on the whereabouts of the two prelates since their abduction.
The Patriarchs asked government leaders “to put an end to the war in Syria and Iraq through peaceful means, political negotiations and dialogue among the warring parties; and to block all kind of aid received by terrorist organization.”
Concluding their statement, the Patriarchs of the Middle East called for prayers from the Christian faithful for “establishing just and comprehensive peace in the region and the world.”