His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s appeal to US President Mr. Barack Obama
regarding the situation in Syria
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message to
Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, in which he
expressed his deep concern over the plans of the US army to strike the territory
he Primate of the Russian Church apeals to the US President to listen to
the voices of religious leaders who unanimously oppose any military interference
in the Syrian conflict and to make every effort for the soonest commencement of
His Excellency Mr. Barack
United States of America
Your Excellency, Dear Mr. President,
The tragic events in Syria have raised anxiety and caused pain in the Russian
Orthodox Church. We receive information about the situation there not from the
news reports but from living evidence coming to us from religious figures,
ordinary believers and our compatriots living in that country.
Syria today has become an arena of the armed conflict. Engaged in it are
foreign mercenaries and militants linked with international terrorist centres.
The war has become an everyday golgotha for millions of civilians.
We were deeply alarmed to learn about the plans of the US army to strike the
territory of Syria. Undoubtedly, it will bring ever greater sufferings to the
Syrian people, first of all, to the civilian population. An external military
intervention may result in the radical forces coming to power in Syria who will
not be able and will not wish to ensure inter-confessional accord in the Syrian
Our special concern is for the fate of the Christian population of Syria,
which in that case will come under the threat of total extermination or
banishment. It has already happened in the regions of the country seized by
militants. An attempt made by the armed groups of the Syrian opposition to seize
the town of Ma’loula whose residents are predominantly Christians has become a
new confirmation of our concerns. The militants keep shelling the town in which
ancient Christian monasteries are located – the sites of special veneration by
the faithful all over the world.
The Christian hierarchs of Aleppo, Metropolitans Paul and John Ibrahim, have
been held captive by militants since April 22. Nothing is known about their fate
despite of the fact that a number of religious figures appealed to the leaders
of their states to help to release them.
I am deeply convinced that the countries which belong to the Christian
civilization bear a special responsibility for the fate of Christians in the
No doubt, the current Syrian crisis needs to be settled with the
participation of the international community. In this regard, I consider it
important to use the opportunities which have opened for a diplomatic settlement
of the conflict. These opportunities imply the international community’s control
over the chemical weapons in Syria.
The Russian Orthodox Church knows the price of human sufferings and losses
since in the 20th century our people survived two devastating world
wars which claimed millions of lives and ruined many people’s lives. We also
regard as our own pain the pain and losses the American people suffered in the
terrible terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001.
On the eve of the anniversary of that sad date, I appeal to you to lend your
ear to the voices of religious leaders who unanimously oppose any military
interference in the Syrian conflict and to make every effort for the soonest
commencement of peace negotiations.
MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA