» 08/28/2013, 00.00
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.
- "We must listen to the Pope's appeal for peace in Syria. If western
countries want to create true democracy then they must build it on reconciliation,
through dialogue between Christians and Muslims, not with weapons. This attacked
being planned by the United States is a criminal act, which will only reap more
victims, in addition to the tens of thousands of these two years of war. This
will destroy the Arab world's trust in the West", says Gregory III Laham,
Patriarch of Antioch of the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites. His
appeal entrusted to AsiaNews comes just
a few hours after rumors of an imminent United States attack against Damascus. The
intervention is supported by other countries: France, Great Britain, Turkey and
the Arab League. The
religious leader has sent out Pope Francis' August 25 appeal to all of Syria's parishes.
voice of Christians - said the Patriarch - is that of the Holy Father. At this
time we must be pragmatic. Syria needs stability and an armed attack against
the government really has no sense at all".
III asks, "What or who have led Syria to this thin red line, this point of
no return? Who created this hell in which our people have been living for
day - he explains - Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into
Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to
stop them, even the U.S. has decided to send in more weapons." The
prelate stresses that the planned U.S. attack will affect the Syrian population
above all and is no less serious than the use of chemical weapons.
to the Patriarch, Western countries continue to support a non existent opposition,
which has no authority on the ground in Syria. "All
preparation for the Geneva 2 Conference - he said - has been stopped. The word
dialogue is now forgotten. For months the Western countries have wasted time in
discussions, while people were dying under Assad's bombs and attacks by Islamic
al-Qaeda extremists. "
III warns that a possible victory of the Islamists will give birth to a country
divided into small enclaves, which will force Christians into a ghetto. "Our
community dwindles every day. Young people are fleeing, families leave their
homes and villages." For
the prelate, "the disappearance of the Christians is a danger not only for
Syria, but for all of Europe." "Our
presence - he says - is the essential condition for a moderate Islam, which
exists thanks to the Christians. If we leave, there can be no democracy in
Syria. This is supported also by the Muslims themselves, who fear the Islamist's
Many say that they cannot live where there are no Christians". (S.C.)
Easter message of Gregory III urges charity, resurrection for peace for all Arabs
In the document, there are prayers offered for peace in the Holy Land, Sudan, Iraq, and all other countries in need of peace, security and work opportunities, to put the brakes on emigration, especially of youth, who are the future of the region and the Church in the Middle East and the rest of the 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.
03/08/2012 SYRIA - ISLAM
Gregory III Laham: Christians and Muslims pray and fast together for an end to violence
August 1, Catholics started fasting for Dormition of the Virgin, which will last until August 15. It coincides in part with the Muslim Ramadan (August 20 to 18). The religious functions and moments of abstinence and prayer are held simultaneously in churches and mosques. AsiaNews publishes the message of Gregory III Laham, Melkite Patriarch of Antioch. The prelate calls on Christians and Muslims to use this time to rediscover the value of charity, dialogue and reconciliation.
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.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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