Appeal of the Patriarchs and Bishops at the Opening of the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Churches

11040On January 18, 2015, the Patriarchs and Bishops who gathered together for the opening of the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Churches, at St. Aphrem Church in Achrafieh – Beirut, made the following Appeal on this occasion:

Call for PrayersBeirut 1812015
We the Patriarchs and heads of Christian Churches in Lebanon, thank our Lord for our gathering this year also to offer prayers for the unity of the holy, apostolic and universal Church of our Lord, which is taking place at St. Aphrem Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut.
Prayerfully together, we call upon all our fellow Christians around the world, both clergy and laity, who are celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity to share with us our fervent and passionate prayer for peace in our beloved and suffering Orient, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, who are currently facing the harshest waves of persecution by fanatics and terrorists. Our peaceful people either suffer martyrdom for their faith or witness a systematic campaign of uprooting, forced expulsion from their homes and their forefathers’ homeland. They are subject to ethno-religious cleansing which amounts to Genocide and extinction in their homeland. The sanctity of their churches and monasteries is violated, their religious figures, monks, nuns, priests and bishops were kidnaped, especially the symbols of Ecumenism and Inter-faith dialogue, the two Archbishops of Aleppo; Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yaziji.
We appeal for your prayers and ask you to spare no efforts of advocacy wherever and whenever possible, to alleviate and end this painful and tragic reality, bring a safe and immediate release to all kidnaped and detainees and to preserve a sustainable and peaceful Christian presence in the Middle East.His Beatitude Cardinal Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai (Maronite Church)
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II (Syrian Orthodox Church)
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I (Armenian Orthodox Church)
His Beatitude Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX (Armenian Catholic Church)
His Beatitude Patriarch Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan (Syriac Catholic Church)
His Excellency Rev. Selim Sehiouny (Evangelical Church)
His Excellency Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon Mgr. Gabrielle Caccia
His Excellency Mgr. Cyril Boustros (Greek Catholic Melkite Church)
His Excellency Mgr. Michel Kassarji (Chaldean Church)
His Excellency Mgr. Boulos Dahdah (Latin Church)
His Excellency Mgr. Semaan Atallah (Maronite Archbishop of Baalbeck anf Deir El Ahmar)
His Eminence Mor Theophilus Georges Saliba (Syriac Orth. Archbishop of Mount Lebanon)
His Eminence Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh (Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut)
Reverend Archmandrite Seraphim (Greek Orthodox Church)
Reverend Archmandrite Yathroun Gouliana (Assyrian Church)
Reverend Archmandrite Rwais (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Reverend Fr. Antonios Ibrahim (Coptic Catholic Church)