Joint Statement by the Leaders of the Christian Churches in Damascus

A joint statement was issued today, Monday, August 12, after the meeting of the Leaders of the Christian Churches in Damascus.

In particular, Patriarch John X of Antioch, the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Aphrem II, and the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Antioch, Youssef Absi, met at the Monastery of Saint Ephraim the Syrian, in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, Mario Zenari.

The statement reports that the general situation in the region and the consequences of the crisis of previous years on the peoples of the region, and in particular the Christians, whose numbers are diminishing alarmingly due to immigration, were discussed.

The participants reaffirmed the need to remain firmly attached to the land of their ancestors, despite adverse conditions, in order to remain the salt and light of this land.

The participants also prayed for the safe return of the two abducted hierarchs, Metropolitan Pavlos of Aleppo and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim.

Finally, on the occasion of Kurban Bayram, the Christian leaders congratulated the Muslim brothers and prayed for peace in Syria, so that all Syrian citizens could live in peace, safety and prosperity.