Collection of Statements by Government and Church Leaders condemning Abduction of Two Archbishops in Syria: The WCA asks for more statements, above all from the UN Security Council!
Since the abduction of the Syriac and Greek Orthodox Archbishops in Syria, whose kidnappers and whereabouts are still unknown, several senior Government officials and Church leaders have strongly denounced the abduction. Below the WCA has collected the most important statements known to us. Until the Archbishops are freed, however, we continue to ask for more statements and action to be taken!
Last updated 25 April 2013
The WCA has requested a number of other Governments and Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi (Syria’s Special Envoy) to follow suit. Moreover, we ask UN Member States to urgently request the Security Council to condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardly and shameless terrorist act against the two prominent shepherds who are nothing but innocent men of peace. In this respect, the WCA very much welcomed the statement submitted by the Syrian Ambassador to the UN in New York:
Further to the letters it has addressed to the Security Council every time that the terrorists have perpetrated their crimes, which have not spared either ordinary Syrian citizens or the country’s intellectual, political and religious figures, the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic once again demands that the acts of terrorism being committed by these armed groups should be halted, and warns of the repercussions of such radical terrorism, the criminality of which knows no bounds.
It trusts that the Council will issue a statement that clearly affirms the international community’s rejection of these deplorable crimes and its determination to hold accountable their perpetrators and those who stand behind them, and calls on all States to honour their legal obligations not to provide any form of support for terrorism, regardless of where or when it occurs or the justifications offered.
This abduction case has shocked and paralyzed the Christians in Syria. If no immediate action will be taken by the international community, it will inevitably lead to another mass exodus of the indigenous Aramean Christians in their homeland, many of whom are increasingly asking the WCA how they can flee as soon as possible from their ancestral land. A phenomenon which is not unlike the one we have seen in the last decade in Iraq and where the international community equally did not act timely and adequately.
The conscientious question therefore remains to be answered by UN and EU Member States: Since nobody has been held accountable yet for the devastation of the Iraqi nation and the decimation of its ancient indigenous vulnerable groups such as the Aramean Christians and their 3,000 year old Aramaic language, who can and will be held responsible for the same crimes and destruction in Syria?
Joint statement by the Syriac and Greek Orthodox patriarchates of Antochia (23 April 2013)
Media Release by the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch in Europe & Scandinavia (24 April 2013)
Statement by H.E. Bishop Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church in the UK and the Republic of Ireland on behalf of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the UK and Ireland (25 April 2013)
Letter of the Syrian ambassador to the UN, H.E. Mr. Bashar Ja’afari to the Secretary General and the President of the Security Council (25 April 2013)
Statement by the Russian ambassador to the UN, H.E. Mr. Vitaly Churkin (25 April 2013)
Statement by the European Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs (23 April 2013)
Statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (23 April 2013)
Statement by the Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos (23 April 2013)
Statement by the spokesperson of EU High Representative, Mrs Catherine Ashton (26 April 2013)
World Council of Arameans (Syriacs) and its Member Federations (23 and 24 April 2013)