Statement and Appeal
of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church Of Antioch.
Convened in the Monastery of St. Jacob Baradeus
in Atchaneh – Bikfaya – Lebanon
10-14 September 2013
The Church appeals to all people of goodwill: clergy, officials and peace seekers in states, governments and humanitarian institutions, to continue all efforts and contacts which might lead to the release of the two abducted reverend bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji.
The situation of the Christians in the Middle East is a cause of great grief and sorrow especially the persecution, terrorist attacks, abuse, kidnapping, murder, destruction and death that are suffered by citizens in general and Christians in particular. Churches and monasteries have been destroyed, institutions, Christian schools and orphanages have been demolished, families have been displaced and forced to leave their ancestral homeland. Christians have been forced by threats and violence to change their Christian confession and religion. They have endured this suffering simply because they are Christians. Many have been martyred; we beseech the Lord to shower His grace and mercy upon their pure souls while we offer our heartfelt condolences to their relatives.
The fathers of the Holy Synod call upon the faithful of the Church to persist in patience and persevere in prayer despite all the sacrifices that they have made so far. These sacrifices have been forcibly imposed on them while they sought only to preserve and maintain their history, heritage, faith and the sacred Syriac language, which is the language of the Lord Jesus Christ and of all ancient Syria.
The fathers of the Holy Synod appeal to the international community, the world superpowers and to all people of goodwill to stand on the side of good and try to spare the region from further disasters and calamities that might spread to other parts of the world. The fathers of the Holy Synod also insist on preserving their historical rights in their historical countries of the East in order to preserve the continuation of their civilization which enlightened the world ever since our ancient forefathers created the alphabet that is still used by all nations, East and West, and is giving witness to the magnificence of our oriental civilization.