Church Leaders Make Urgent Call for Just Peace in Syria
Jan. 20, 2014
Middle East Christian leaders, the World Council of Churches, and the Holy See have called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria, stressing the conflict won’t be resolved by military means.
The appeal was made in a statement issued after the leaders met for a consultation at the WCC headquarters in Geneva Jan. 15-17 to address the UN-backed Geneva II peace talks on Syria which begin on Wednesday.
The leaders expressed their concern for all people affected by the “indiscriminate violence and humanitarian calamity” in the country. “We hear their cries, knowing that when ‘one member suffers, all suffer together with him,’” they said, quoting 1 Corinthians 12.
“There will be no military solution to the crisis in the country,” they stressed in the statement, and recommended a series of steps for building peace.
These comprised an “immediate” ceasefire, the release of kidnapped persons, and an end to the flow of arms into Syria. They called for “appropriate humanitarian assistance” for all those affected, and “full humanitarian access” where large populations are at risk. They recommended a “comprehensive and inclusive” peace process, fully integrating women and young people. And they argued that Geneva II must be “transformed into a peace-building process”.
To do this, they advised that such a process be Syrian-led, transparent and credible. They advocated the support of the Arab League, the United Nations, and stressed that the territorial integrity, independence and diversity of Syria must be preserved. Furthermore, they called for equal rights for all of its citizens as well as human rights, dignity and religious freedom for all.
“As Christians we speak with one voice in calling for a just peace in Syria,” the leaders said. “To achieve this peace, we are committed to working hand-in-hand with Muslim sisters and brothers, with whom we share a common history along with spiritual and social values.”
“We seek to work for national reconciliation and healing through building trust,” they said.
Other international News
Fr Cajetan appointed Interim Executive Secretary of FABC-OLF
The Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) Central Committee, at their meeting in Bangkok...
Feb. 24, 2018
Pope Francis Meets Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil
The encounter took place at the Pope’s Santa Marta residence, after which the missionary pr...
Sept. 13, 2017
We Regret to Announce the Sad Demise of His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias
We Regret to Announce the Sad Demise of His Eminence, Ivan Cardinal Dias, Prefect Emeritus o...
June 19, 2017
OSWALD CARDINAL GRACIAS, ARCHBISHOP OF BOMBAY APPOINTED TO ROMAN ROTA
“The Holy Father has granted the title of Lawyer of the Roman Rota to Cardinal Oswald Graci...
Feb. 21, 2017
New Apostolic Nuncio for India and Nepal
His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency most reverend GIAMBATTISTA DIQUATTRO as th...
Jan. 22, 2017