Appeal for Aleppo

Protocol 233/2015 D

In the face of the horrors of the brutal attacks and bloody massacres that have struck our beloved Aleppo, destroying stones and humans, archdioceses, churches and mosques, charitable, educational and private property, and laying waste entire neighbourhoods, we raise this emotional and existential human appeal on behalf of all the victims whose blood has sprinkled the pure earth of Aleppo, and the innocent people, men, women and children slain, many of whose bodies are still under the rubble of buildings!

In the name of humanity, in the name of faith, on behalf of all that is honourable in this world, we raise our voices aloud, calling on the international community to stop the attacks not only on Aleppo, but even on the whole of beloved Syria, and on Iraq, Yemen and the Yarmouk refugee camp, where our abandoned Palestinian brothers are!

Is not the world yet painfully convinced of the futility of death and destruction and criminality aimed at Syria, to undermine resilience and principles and the very inclination for peace? Why not participate in the efforts of peace talks recently held in Russia?

At Easter, we launched the appeal contained in the Message of Three Patriarchs (Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham), Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greek Catholics, Patriarch John X (Yazigi) Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek Orthodox, Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox), and on our Pascha, we call on everyone, particularly the militants and their financiers and supporters, and everyone who believes in the value of humanity, whatever his religion and faith, to join the walk towards resurrection and life!

“This East is the core of our identity, and the preservation of the leaven of Christianity in our diverse social fabric and among our multicultural residents who all share a common humanity is today the touchstone of the world’s credibility towards this region of the earth and towards its people. The region’s security and peace constitutes a test of conscience in the face of the discourse of interests.

“Enough of killing and displacement and enough of our suffering! Enough of intimidation and organized terrorism against the people of this East! Enough of the rape of Palestine and overlooking its just cause! Enough of the bloody wounds inflicted on Syria over the last five years and of the importation of extremist ideologies! Enough of Lebanon seething on the fire of regional point-scoring amid a constitutional vacuum, while Egypt burns on the fire of unrest! Enough of the destruction of abandoned and violated Iraq, with its variously affiliated minorities, now the focus of a dubious international policy.”

We call upon all our people in Aleppo and all believers and citizens not to allow the flame of hope to be extinguished in their hearts … and we assure everyone that we spiritual pastors are with you in your suffering and your pain, and doing our utmost to alleviate this suffering. As we recover from our wounds we share the hopes of resurrection from the dead at the Feast of the Resurrection, the feast of passing over from death to life, slavery to freedom, humiliation to dignity, and war to peace.

With all the faithful of our churches and parishes, we raise the shout of victory and life: Christ is risen … he is risen indeed!

With love and appreciation

+ Gregorios III
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Alexandria and Jerusalem
of the Melkite Greek Catholics
President of the Catholic Churches in Syria