Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The international community "One cannot be silent, nor the international community remain inactive, in the face of the massacre of persons merely because of their religion or ethnicity". To stop the work of some extremist groups that cause "serious concern", in particular "the so-called Islamic State", a military response alone is not enough: "The problem must be dealt with more radically by addressing the root causes which are exploited by fundamentalist ideology." This is the focus of the final communiqué of the meeting of the nuncios of the Middle East, convened by Pope Francis October 2 to 4 in the Vatican. The papal representatives were joined by the permanent observers of the Holy See to the UN and the EU and the superiors of Vatican departments related to the issue.
In the text, the Papal representatives express
their closeness to the Patriarchs,
to the pastors, to the Christians
but also other religious and ethnic
components of the Middle East, who "suffer because
of violence" in the region, especially
in Iraq and
Syria. However, the real alarm is
"the situation of
violence, which we risk becoming accustomed to, and taking for granted as an
item of daily news, needs to stop." The sufferings - states the communique- are amplified by the trafficking of arms and
that of human beings. The statement
underlines the pressing
necessity of guaranteeing to all persons, without discrimination, the much
needed humanitarian assistance
"The activity of some extremist groups is a cause of grave concern, particularly the so-called 'Islamic State', whose violence and abuses cannot be met with indifference. One cannot be silent, nor the international community remain inactive, in the face of the massacre of persons merely because of their religion or ethnicity, in the face of decapitations and crucifixions of human beings in public squares, in the face of the exodus of thousands of persons and the destruction of places of worship".
As already noted by Francis, the nuncios reiterate that "the resolution of the problem cannot be entrusted solely to a military response; the problem must be dealt with more radically by addressing the root causes which are exploited by fundamentalist ideology. Religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, should play an important role by cooperating together in promoting dialogue and education for the fostering of mutual understanding, and in denouncing clearly the instrumentalization of religion to justify violence".
The participants of the meeting reaffirmed the necessity of recognising "the right ofChristians and of the other ethnic and religious groups to remain in their lands of origin and, for those who are forced to emigrate, the right to return in conditions of adequate security, having the possibility of living and working in freedom and with prospects for the future. In the current circumstances this requires the commitment of both the Governments concerned and the international community. At stake are fundamental principles such as the value of life, human dignity, religious freedom and the harmonious and peaceful coexistence between persons and between peoples".
In conclusion, the diplomats stressed that "One cannot resign oneself to conceiving the Middle East without Christians, who for two thousand years have confessed the name of Jesus. They want to continue contributing to the good of society, integrated, as full citizens, in the social, cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong. In them they play a fundamental role of peacemaking, of reconciliation, and of development".