Syrian Religious Leaders Denounce Violence

 Minister of Religious Endowments “Awqaf” Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed stressed that whoever legitimizes the killing, terrorism and massacres has nothing to do with the heavenly messages, morals or human values.

Visiting the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate and the Arminian Orthodox Archdiocese on the centennial anniversary of the Ottoman genocide of “Seyfo” against the Syriacs and the Armenians and other nations, al-Sayyed indicated that the genocide proves to the whole world that what is taking place in Syria nowadays of killing and destruction at the hands of the neo-Ottomans stresses that they have nothing to do with Islam.

Al-Sayyed stressed that what is taking place in Syria is a clear evidence that terrorism and criminality are very far from all religions and that Islam is innocent of what the US and its Western allies and Israel are trying to charge it with.

For his part, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church stressed that the strong relation binding the Syrian Christian and Muslim has always protected Syria.

“I congratulate my brothers, my compatriots, on the occasion of the Prophet Birth and the Christmas ….I wish that peace and security will return to Syria which has witnessed the birth of the humanitarian civilization and I wish that its people will continue to live as one Syrian family as they have always been,” Patriarch Aphrem II said.

He added “About half a million of the Syrian Syriacs were killed in those massacres and when we say Syriacs we means all the Syrian Syriacs whether they are in Antioch, Nsaibin, al-Raha, Diyar Bakir, and al-Hasaka as they are Syrians not settlers and they were martyred at the hands of the Ottoman slaughterers.”

Patriarch Aphrem II stressed that what is taking place in Syria now is not different from what happened one hundred years ago.

“We hope that the others will follow the Syrian clergymen, particularly because the massacres were not based on religions but they were because of political reasons which aim to eliminate nations and not religions.” Patriarch Aphrem II said.

He highly appreciated the efforts of the Syrian people, government and army under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad, saying “We will defend Syria together.”

The Patriarch concluded by affirming that Syria is witnessing the end of the crisis and that its people are delivering a message of amity and peace together, calling upon the international organizations and bodies to exert more efforts to release the two kidnapped bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi.

Grand Mufti of the Republic Ahmed Badr-Eddin Hassoun said “When we remember the massacres or history, we don’t incite grudges, but we want to end the grudges through spreading love.”

Hassoun added “We want the people to pay attention that history will talk about those who spent their life serving the people and those who killed the people and persecuted them and when we remember the massacres against the Syrian people, we know that they were because Syria has conveyed the heavenly messages to the world, and that the Ottomans came to this country and instead of learning from it, they forced its people to leave the Arabic language, the language of Quran, and they slaughtered many of them such as when they killed the martyrs of May 6th.”

He affirmed that the international organizations and governments must exert pressure on the Turkish government to release the kidnapped bishops, indicating that those who were able to release 40 Turkish people from the terrorist groups in Mosul can order the terrorist who it supports and finances to release the bishops.

“We all must make this year a year of national reconciliation,” Hassoun said, affirming that Syria will ever remain a model in fraternity and national unity.

5 For his part, Primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus Bishop Armash Nalbandian said “Our message to the whole world and the Armenians in this year stresses that the birth of the Armenian nation was in the holy Syria which is the country of life and land of resurrection.”

“The world kept silence regarding the massacres which took place in 1915 and remains silent towards what is taking place in Syria nowadays…We call upon the international community to condemn and to halt the massacres which are committed by the neo-Ottomans in Syria today and to account them,” Nalbandian said.

For his part, Chairman of the Levant Scholars Union, Mohammad Tawfiq al-Bouti indicated that Prophet Mohammad has taught us the meaning of the Islamic-Christian fraternity when he received a delegation of the Christians at his mosque.

He stressed that the Syrian people have always embraced the nations who were subjected to genocide and Syria has always been a peaceful sanctuary to them.

© 2015 Assyrian International News Agency.
Source: OCP