» 05/28/2013, 00.00
SYRIA - EU
Gregory III Laham: "The future of Syria cannot be built on destruction"
The European Union fails to renew the ban of weapons supply to the Syrian opposition. Britain and France are ready to send arms to the rebels. For the Catholic Patriarch of Antioch "There are no winners with the war." The invitation to pray for the peace conference in Geneva scheduled for next June 10.
- "The future of Syria cannot be built on destruction. There are no
winners with war. The Church is for reconciliation and dialogue. We encourage
prayer for the success of the conference on 10 June in Geneva so that all
parties, government and opposition, can travel the road to peace. " Gregory
III Laham, patriarch of Antioch all the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of
the Melkites says to AsiaNews.
The prelate's appeal comes after the failed agreement between the European
Union countries on the renewal of the ban on the supply of arms to the rebels,
which expired last night. This has prompted Britain and France to renew
pressure for military support to the rebels. William Hague, the British Foreign
Minister, said, "that so far no EU country has plans to arm the
rebels." The end of the embargo is a move to intimidate Assad. However,
the diplomat did not rule out sending weapons in the coming months. Ahead of
new decisions, the "momentary" end of the ban, the announcement facilitates
the illegal entry of weapons in Syria.
Gregory III says that such a situation
of pain, hatred and conflict between factions spurred by the continuous supply
of arms to the rebels and the regime cannot continue indefinitely. "The
world - he says - must understand that wars do not put an end to violence. I
have personally experienced the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in
the Holy Land and the current one between Sunnis and Shiites in Syria. I can
testify that only the position of reconciliation, peace and rejection of hatred
given by the gospel can lead to a lasting solution. "
According to the patriarch there is still room in Syria for values such
as good and solidarity between people of different faiths and factions.
"Even where there is no violence - he explains - people live with the constant
fear of continuing war, but try to live their daily lives." In many
cities, such as Damascus and Aleppo, there are episodes of solidarity between
Christians and Muslims, without ethnic or political distinction. "The
Patriarchate - says the prelate - welcomes displaced people and refugees
fleeing from the regions most affected by the conflict and supports them
through the efforts of the volunteers of Caritas and many Christian and Muslim
18/03/2015 SYRIA - LEBANON
Gregory III Laham: as Lebanon closes borders, the plight of Syrian Christians gets worse
The Melkite patriarch talks to AsiaNews about the worsening situation of Syria's internally displaced people compared to those outside of the country. Border crossings are still open for Christians from Hassakeh, victims of the Islamic State group. War is the cause "of all evil". During Lent, Damascus churches are full of people praying for peace.
Gregory III Laham: No to fundamentalism, hope for a peaceful Arab world
Appeal by Gregory III for a global campaign of prayer for peace in Syria
On the eve of the Geneva II Conference, the patriarch calls for "true reconciliation among Syrians, not just on security agreements and humanitarian aid," however necessary they may be. Meanwhile, the World Council of Churches launches its own initiative.
27/12/2013 SYRIA - MIDDLE EAST
Gregory III urges Christians in the Middle East not to emigrate
In his Christmas letter, the Greek Catholic patriarch of Antioch and All the East pleads with Christians to live their mission in the Arab world through charity and social action without leaving the region. Muslim leaders appreciate the Christian contribution to Arab culture. Muslims and Christians must work for full recognition of the rights of Christian believers on par with others. They must also work to stop fundamentalism. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a great challenge. Pope Francis expresses his solidarity.
28/08/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON
Gregory III: Democracy is built with peace. U.S. attack is a criminal act
The Catholic Patriarch of Antioch calls on Western countries to listen to the Pope’s appeal. Armed action will destroy any possibility of future dialogue and reconciliation. The Christians will be ghettoized. Without them, there can be no moderate Islam. The disappearance of Christians is a threat for the West and the Arab world.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
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