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Peace and justice for Syria and Iraq

· Appeal from the leaders of the Churches gathered at the invitation of Karekin II ·

A call for an end to fighting in Syria and nearby Iraq was launched by religious leaders of the World Council of Churches and of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and Holy See gathered together on 11-12 June in Etchmiadzin, Armenia, at the invitation of Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians.

The religious leaders wrote a message underlining the importance of an immediate stop to violence in order to restore stability in the Middle East. “We gathered on the eve of the Centenary of the Armenian and Syriac Genocide,” the note reads, “and prayed for justice and peace”. “This gathering also occurs at the time of the celebration of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended to give common voice to the believers in every tongue. The Holy Spirit guides us to believe that peace and justice for all people cannot be achieved by the initiatives of humanity alone”.

The text continues: “Through diakonia and humanitarian assistance, the churches continue to witness to the unconditional love of Christ to all people in Syria. It is of high significance that churches continue to accompany those who have found refuge in neighbouring countries. Therefore, we encourage further cooperation among the different churches and church agencies within Syria and internationally. We call upon the churches who have embarked on the path of reconciliation to continue being bridge builders, deepening dialogue with their Muslim sisters and brothers”. 

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