Riga (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate "welcomes the appeal of our brother in Christ, Pope Francis, for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world, a prayer that has been constant since the bloody conflict started in Damascus," said the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, during an official visit to Estonia.
"The Ecumenical Patriarchate and we personally look forward to the developments of the situation in Syria, and more generally in the Middle East, praying that peace shall prevail," the patriarch said during a meeting with the speaker of the Estonian Parliament Ene Ergma.
For the Orthodox leader, only if peace wins "shall it be possible for Christians in the Middle East continue to live without any impediment in their lands."
"Let us closely follow the G20 summit in St Petersburg, and let us hope that decisions taken [there] will be used to contribute to a peaceful solution to the political question in Syria."
The Church of Constantinople, the patriarch said, "welcomes Pope Francis's appeal to the Christians of the Earth to unite in prayer and fasting next Saturday so that peace may prevail in the fiery Syrian land, hoping that God might enlighten the minds of policy makers and prevent military actions that would inevitably result in the death of innocent victims."
In concluding, Bartholomew added, "We, too, shall heed the call from our brother in Christ Francis to pray next Saturday for this purpose as we have always done since the start of the bloody conflict in Syria."