The Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch issued the following statement:
The Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church demands peaceful and immediate resolutions to the wars of the region
Statement Issued by
The Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
Patriarchal Residence – Mor Yacoub Baradeus Monastery – Atchaneh, Bikfaya
October 1st, 2016
At the invitation of His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and the Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, the Holy Syriac Orthodox Synod of Antioch convened from September 27 to October 1st, 2016.
The members of the Holy Synod, discussed the matters listed on the agenda. The most important matters discussed are:
1- The situation of Christians in the Middle East and the persecution which they face as well as forced migration due to the war in Syria and Iraq. The Fathers prayed for peace in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. They urged the International Community to seriously seek immediate peaceful solutions for the conflicts, and to work hard to liberate the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, who are forcefully kept away from us and from their Archdioceses. Moreover, the Fathers demanded the international organizations to help Christians remain in their homeland and live in dignity. They urged the Syriac faithful to remain in the Middle East and expressed their commitment to help their people in all possible ways to live in dignity, preserving their roots in the land of the forefathers. The Fathers affirmed the importance of the ecumenical relations among the churches and the Christian-Muslim dialogue that deepen the peaceful coexistence based on the principle of equal citizenship. Therefore, it was decided to convene a conference in which the Fathers of the Holy Synod will participate as well as selected specialists and experts in politics, economy, and social sciences who will be invited from the different Archdioceses of the Church throughout the world. The conference will study and discuss the current situation and the future of Christians in general and Syriacs in particular, in the Middle East.
2- The Fathers urged the politicians in Lebanon to elect a new president for Lebanon, after more than two years without a president. They also demanded the endorsement of a new electoral law that is fair and just to all components in Lebanon.
3- Concerning the injustice directed against our Syriac people in Iraq by not listing the Syriac name as a distinct ethnicity in the new Iraqi constitution and the new national card, the Fathers demanded the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Parliament to correct this injustice and list the name “Syriac” in the Iraqi constitution, not just as language, but as an ethnicity and essential component of the people of the Republic of Iraq.
4- The Fathers discussed matters related to the Syriac Orthodox Archdioceses and studied the reports of their Eminences the Archbishops concerning their Archdioceses and the challenges that they face in the homeland and in the diaspora. They also studied the situation of monastic life and its future in the Syriac Church. They listened to the reports submitted by the patriarchal departments and commended their work. The Fathers expressed their appreciation of the hard work that His Holiness is doing in helping the Syriac emigrants, as well as his visits to the refugees from Syria and Iraq and the faithful of the Church throughout the world. They valued his advocacy to support Christians in the Middle East and his efforts to release the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo through attending conferences and meetings with presidents and world leaders from different countries as well as Christian religious leaders. In turn, His Holiness thanked all the Archbishops for their help to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East through their moral and financial support. He commended the efforts to help the Syriac families settle in the diaspora by welcoming the refugees and immigrants, offering them help and assistance when needed.
5- The Fathers congratulated His Holiness for being elected President of the Middle East Council of Churches during the recent XI General Assembly which took place in Amman from September 5 to 8, 2016.
The Fathers prayed for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world, asking the Lord to end the war in the Middle East and bless the efforts of all the peace makers:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are called sons of God” (Matthew 5: 9).
Patriarchal Residence – Atchaneh, Lebanon