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Peace and Prosperity

Melkite Church Patriarch: Please Stop Bombing Us


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Patriarch Gregoire III Laham

Melkite Catholic Church Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus, Syria, has a message for those who continue to intervene in Syria's tragic four year civil war: please stop.

The Patriarch rejected the idea that international military intervention would be helpful to Syria's beleaguered Christian community, which has suffered greatly under the insurgency of US and Gulf State-backed Islamists seeking to overthrow the Assad government. He told the Catholic News Service last week:
It is reckless to think of military interventions, conducted from the outside, to defend Christians of the Middle East. If you really want to bring an end to the tragedy of the Syrian people, there is only one way: enough war, enough arms, money, and ploys used to attack Syria.
His plea was also a mild rebuke to Pope Francis' indication of support for an international military mission against ISIS in Syria. The Patriarch instead expressed his wishes that a real dialogue might be initiated -- including Syrian President Assad -- to seek a political rather than military solution to the crisis:
While we were in prayer these past days, we heard news that western countries will reopen negotiations with (Syrian President Bashar) Assad. This is now the realistic path to follow, if we really want peace.
Aleppo's Christians are also clear about how they wish this conflict would end. The news website Al-Monitor traveled to Aleppo to ask a local Christian leader, Abu Fadi, about the different warring factions inside Syria and which one his community favors:
There is no question at all about whom we support: the government, of course. It is the only force protecting us from the jihadists and extremists.
Asked whether there are no non-extremist opposition groups to support, he replied:
...at the beginning, some welcomed the protests because they felt it might get the government to fix the problems, you know, like the corruption and other important issues and reforms, like an alarm bell to wake them up. But we soon saw this is not what it was about. They just wanted to take power at any cost; they will destroy Syria to do that. They soon showed their true faces, the religious extremism they were hiding.
Americans, and particularly US Christians, who wish to help fellow Christians in Syria would do well to listen to their co-religionists who are actually in the line of fire.
Copyright © 2015 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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