10/24/2015, 00.00
SYNOD - MIDDLE EAST
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Call on international community to find a "political solution" to end Mideast violence

Basic rights like the right to life and religious freedom are violated. "Our thoughts go to all the hostages whose release we demand. Our voices join the cry of so many innocent people: no more violence, no more terrorism, no more destruction, no more persecution! Let the hostilities and the arms trade end immediately!”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Synod on the Family today expressed its closeness to the families of the Middle East and those who are living in similar situations, especially in Africa and in Ukraine. It did so in an appeal the international community, calling on its members to put aside “particular interests” and use the ways of diplomacy and international law to find a “political solution” to stop years of “unspeakable atrocities” against so many innocent people.

For the Synod participants, peace is possible, peace “not with choices imposed by force, but by political decisions that respect the religious and cultural particularities of each nation" and society.

"For years now, because of the bloody conflicts,” families “have been the victims of unspeakable atrocities. In recent months and weeks, their living conditions have worsened further. The use of weapons of mass destruction, indiscriminate killings, beheadings, kidnappings, trafficking in women, child soldiers, religious and ethnic persecution, the destruction of places of worship, the destruction of cultural heritage and countless other atrocities have forced thousands of families to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, often in extremely precarious conditions.

“Families are currently prevented from returning and exercising their right to live in dignity and security in their homeland, and contribute to the material and spiritual reconstruction and welfare of their countries."

"In this tragic context, the basic rights of human dignity, such as the right to life and religious freedom, international humanitarian law, and the basic principles of peaceful and harmonious coexistence among peoples and nations are continually violated."

"We therefore express our closeness and solidarity and offer our prayers to the Patriarchs, Bishops, priests, religious and the faithful, as well as to all the inhabitants of the Middle East. Our thoughts go to all the hostages whose release we demand. Our voices join the cry of so many innocent people: no more violence, no more terrorism, no more destruction, no more persecution! Let the hostilities and the arms trade end immediately!

“We must seek peace in the Middle East, not by imposing choices by force, but by agreeing to political decisions that respect the cultural and religious particularities of each nation and the various groups that compose them.

“Whilst we are grateful, in a particular way, to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and several European countries for taking in refugees, we address a new appeal to the international community –particular interests aside – to find a solution by relying on the ways of diplomacy, dialogue, and international law.

“Let us remember what Pope Francis said: "Dear brothers, dear friends, from this holy place I make a heartfelt plea to all people and to all communities who look to Abraham:  may we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters! May we learn to understand the sufferings of others!  May no one abuse the name of God through violence! May we work together for justice and peace! Salaam! (Address of Pope Francis - Building of the Great Council on the Esplanade of the Mosques, Jerusalem, 26 May 2014)."

"We believe that peace is possible and that it is possible to stop the violence that is involving every day more and more families and innocent civilians, and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and throughout the Holy Land. Reconciliation is the fruit of brotherhood, justice, respect and forgiveness.

"Our only wish – like that of all people of good will who belong to the great human family – is that we can live in peace. ‘May Jews, Christians and Muslims find in other believers brothers and sisters to be respected and loved, and in this way, beginning in their own lands, give the beautiful witness of serenity and concord between the children of Abraham’ (Ecclesia in the Middle East, 19 ).

“May our thoughts and prayers – with equal concern, care, and love – extend to all the families that are involved in similar situations in other parts of the world, especially in Africa and the Ukraine. They were in our thoughts during the Synodal Assembly, as were the families of the Middle East. For them too, we forcefully ask for them a return to a life of dignity and peace."

"Let entrust to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, expert in suffering, our intentions, so that the world may soon become one family of brothers and sisters."

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