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Statement by Heads & Reps of Local Orthodox Churches @ 1025 Anniv.

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
    https://mospat.ru/en/2013/07/25/news89183/ Statement by Heads and Representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches Assembled for the Celebration of the 1025th
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25 9:56 AM
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      https://mospat.ru/en/2013/07/25/news89183/

      Statement by Heads and Representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches
      Assembled for the Celebration of the 1025th Anniversary of the Baptism of
      Russia
       
      25.07.2013 ·  
      We, heads and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, who have come
      to Moscow on the occasion of the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia at the invitation of Patriarch Kirill of
      Moscow and All Russia, consider it our duty to raise our voice in defense of our
      Christian brothers subjected to persecution for their faith in various parts of
      the world today.
       
      Every day thousands of believers in Christ are being tortured and driven out
      of their native lands; many people meet their death.
       
      News about tortures and murders are coming from Nigeria, Pakistan,
      Afghanistan, and India. In Kosovo, religious shrines are being defiled, many
      churches have been destroyed, and many people are deprived of the opportunity to
      visit the graves of their relatives and to pray to God in the land of their
      ancestors.
       
      The situation in the Middle East causes deep concern. Many countries of this
      region are swept with a wave of violence and terror, with Christians falling
      victims to it. Libya, where there are almost no Christians left, is breaking
      into warring tribes. Terrorist acts go on in Iraq, where one tenth of the former
      one and a half million Christians has left. The situation in Egypt is getting
      more and more alarming as the conflict there has entered into another bloody
      phase and the Christian population flees the country in a mass exodus. Grief and
      sufferings have befallen families of thousands of ordinary people. As a rule,
      the first to suffer from unfolding conflicts are the most unprotected groups of
      the population including ethnic and religious minorities.
       
      In September 2010, the first meeting of the Orthodox Primates of the Middle
      East region took place in Cyprus. The Primates expressed their deep concern over
      the situation in this region and the future of Christians in the area. The same
      concern was expressed at the similar meetings in Jordan in August 2011, in
      Constantinople in September 2011, and in Cyprus in March 2012. The statement in
      support of suffering Christians in the Middle East was adopted at the meeting of
      the heads and representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches, held in Moscow in
      November 2011.
       
      The situation in Syria is particularly tragic today. In the heat of the
      fratricidal war, Christians, as well as representatives of other religious
      groups, are massacred, driven out of their native cities, towns and villages,
      out of the places where they used to live for centuries in peace with people of
      other religious traditions.
       
      Paramilitary groups do not hesitate to use every possible means to achieve
      their goals. Their radical members carry it too far in their crimes. Horrific
      scenes of violence, public executions, humiliation against human dignity and
      violation of human rights have become habitual. Abductions and murders often
      committed for mercenary ends have become a common occurrence. Extremists do not
      stop at insulting religious leaders who have always enjoyed respect in the
      East.
       
      The world mass media, as well as many politicians, are silent about the
      tragedy of Christians in the Middle East.
       
      We express solidarity with His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Great Antioch
      and All the East who could not share our joy of celebrations today since he has
      to stay with his flock at the moment so difficult for them. Our prayers are with
      him and our brothers in Christ who are being killed all day long (Rom.
      8:36).
       
      We are grieving together with all the suffering people of Syria. We demand
      that the outstanding Christian hierarchs of Syria – Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo
      and Iskenderun and Syrian Jacobite Metropolitan Mar Gregory John Ibrahim of
      Aleppo be immediately freed.
      We make this appeal to all the warring sides and those who can make a
      political impact on the situation: Stop the wave of violence and extermination
      of civilians! Impose a moratorium on the military hostilities so that a basis
      for peaceful settlement of civil conflicts could be worked out at the
      negotiation table! Free the captured clergy and other civilians!
       
      As servants of the Almighty God, we ardently pray to the Author of Peace, the
      Lord Pantocrator that peace and love of brothers may be restored in the Middle
      East, refugees may come back to their settlements as soon as possible, the
      wounded may be healed and the innocent people who were killed may rest in peace.
      May the Lord inspire all those involved in the hostilities with wisdom and the
      good will to stop them!
      Translation from Russian

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