The Moscow Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch have launched a joint appeal for peace and independence of Syria.
two churches believe that only through open and honest dialogue true peace its
independence and territorial integrity be guaranteed in Syria , and equal
rights and opportunities for its citizens ensured," reads the statement
issued on 30 January, at the end of Patriarch
John X Yazigi's visit to Moscow.
According to the two religious
leaders, it is important to support the process initiated in Geneva and at the
same time hope that " that all the political problems in Lebanon, Iraq and all the countries
in the Middle East will be dealt with in a spirit of peace that rejects
violence and all types of pressure that may come from extremist positions or
statement also stresses the need to take measures to ensure the immediate
release of all the hostages from Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi ( of the Orthodox
Church of Antioch ) and Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim ( of the
Syrian Orthodox Church ) - abducted
in April - as well as nuns , priests and orphans of the Convent of Maalula.
"The Churches of Antioch and Russia both have an
experience of co-existence with Islam - conclude the two Patriarchs - We
reject any type of extremism and hate speech. We appeal to Christians
and Muslims to work together for the benefit of their homelands."
visits of religious leaders of the Eastern Churches in Russia are almost a
daily occurrence now and show - according to some analysts - the growing
attention of those Christian communities towards Moscow, increasingly seen as a
point of reference and new champion of their defense against the threat of
is giving a more "global" aspect to the Russian Orthodox Church than his
predecessor Aleksy II and aims to carve out a leading role internationally.
to the director of the Radio Kommersant
Konstantin von Eggert, who is also a commentator on religious matters, the
battle for the defense of Christians is "also an opportunity for the
Moscow Patriarchate to remember that not only it is the most numerous among the
autocephalous churches, but that is
ready to use its special ties with the Kremlin for defending the community