A Voice For Mor Gabriel
By: Zakia Hanouch
The demonstration against the seizure of Mor Gabriel was held on Sunday the 14th of December in S�dert�lje. Our Syriac Orthodox Church realised that it was time to raise our voices and object against the escheat of Mor Gabriel�s properties. A manifestation is a democratic tool that we can use to light the world of situations like this one. In this way, we show our damnation against people who are trying to seize properties that our rightfully ours.
The demonstration was held on Maren in S�dert�lje. Nearly two thousand people joined forces and buses came from cities like Norrk�ping and �rebro
Mor Gabriel (St Gabriel) is in Midyat, a village in Turkey. It is one of our oldest monasteries being almost 1600 years of age. It is a property with holy value, not only for the Syriac-Orthodox community but for all Christians around the world.
Three villages around the monastery are working towards seizing and occupying parts of the monasterys land. The monastery has though, since 1938, the documents needed to proove that the property belongs to Mor Gabriel and that tax has been payed throughout the years.
Despite this obvious fact, the turkish state is allowing the villages action by letting a court of law decide the future of the monastery. The trial was meant to be held on the 19th of December but the turks decided to postpone it.
The confiscation goes against the international undertaking and conventions that Turkey has signed and promised to follow. One of the contracts is the Lausanne treaty which Turkey signed in 1923. It states that the country acknowledge the non-muslim minorities rights in Turkey. More importantly, in 2008, the Turkish parliament altered the law of religious diocese right to own properties and land in the country. Several politics from Sweden are right now in Turkey to object towards this act and to make sure that the court of law is following these undertakings made by Turkey.
His Eminence Yulius Abdulahad Gallo Shabo and His Eminence Dioscoros Benjamin Atas were both present and held speaches that encouraged the people who were present. Some even shed a few tears while listening to the speaches. Ten priests also attended to give their support. Speaches were held by representatives from different parties and a poem was read.
A hope was lit in peoples eyes during the manifestation. A hope that the monastery will be kept in our property.
Quotes from different speakers:
�We have to be united and strong.�
�We have to fight and demand our rights. This is a crime against human rights and democracy!�
�We have to help Christians in Turkey. They are our siblings, not strangers!�
�Our brothers and sisters in Turkey may be afraid of raising their voices because of oppression and threat, but we can raise our voices!�
A swedish priest said: �This concerns all of us as Christians�. He then referred to St Paul who says: �And if one member suffers, then all members suffer with it� (1 Cor 12:26)
Having that in mind we should also remember that ��if one member is honoured, then all members rejoice with it� (1 Cor 12:26).
We pray that St Paul�s words come true.