Declaration issued on Iraq by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate

02th March February 2010, Ma'arat Sayyidnaya, Damascus: His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, Iwas, patriarch of Antioch and all the East and the supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, issued the following declaration:

With extreme pain and sorrow we are watching the unfolding events in Iraq in general and the persecutions, killings, kidnapping, ransacking holy places and injustice done to the Christian population in Iraq in particular, as if Satan has recruited those evil people to destroy the country and its people. For what reason they target the Christians who are loyal to their land and are proud of their beloved Iraqi culture, sacrificing everything even their life, for its glory and dominion.

We had previously issued condemnations for these inhuman actions which are far away from religions. But unfortunately these criminals commit their aggression in the name of religion, which Islam itself rejects. We know Iraq and its people and the loving ties between all its citizens from all religions, groups, factions, and sects.

What is happening in the city of Mosul in particular is very worrisome. Is there a conspiracy to evacuate Iraq from its Christian population, the original inhabitants...? or are there plots sponsored by invisible hands which some call: Zionism one day, and Al-Qaida another day? Or is there an outlaw group whose aim is to hurt and obliterate others, resembling the war of annihilation against the Christians in 1915?

We support all Arabic governments in all our countries. We did not see or feel any persecution or discrimination factional or religious or political because Christians, by nature, are loyal and faithful to their countries wherever they are, and specially to their home land . . . !

What is happening in Iraq ?

Nothing will convince us that those defiant rebels, outlaws of every religion or authority or state or law or humanity, that the government cannot chastise and inflict on them the punishment they deserve, which causes us to doubt the intensions of the rulers and people in charge. We call upon them, both individually and collectively, to act steadfastly and do justice to those oppressed on the hands of the transgressors as we are unable to watch our innocent children being slaughtered, murdered, and looted without any deterrent.

What account would those in charge present in front of God for allowing oppression to their citizens in the day light?... !

We call upon the presidents of the Arabic countries in general and the Assembly of the Arabic countries, the United Nations, and all the rulers of the world to elevate this terrorism and violations incurred upon the subdued and innocent Christians who cannot defend themselves although Christians in Syria and Lebanon and most of the Arab countries live in peace and security.

What makes our heart and soul rest is when we see initiatives taken by those whom we call upon in our declaration. We call upon all the decent Iraqis to stand side by side with their afflicted Christian brothers and martyrs in our beloved Iraq.

Awaiting a positive response, we pray for concord and progress in Iraq, liberation from injustice and aggression in our beloved Palestine, peace and tranquility to the Arab world, to humanity and to the whole world.

Damascus, March 2, 2010

Ignatius Zakka I, Iwas
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.
Supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church

(Declaration concluded)

Copy sent to the following:

1 – Iraqi government via the Iraqi embassy in Damascus.
2 – Ministry of Foreign Affaires in the Syrian Arab Republic.
3 – The United Nations.
4 – The Assembly of Arab countries.
5 – Organizations and diplomatic delegations in Damascus.
6 – World Council of churches.
7 – Middle Eastern Council of churches.
8 – Other media and news organizations and outlets.



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