WCA Letter to UNSC: Condemn abduction of missing Archbishops in Syria and ensure their safe return home

To the Honorable Permanent and Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, UK, US, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Australia, Guatemala, Luxemburg, Morocco, Pakistan, Korea, Rwanda, Togo

London, 26 April 2013

Re: Condemn abduction of missing Archbishops in Syria and ensure their safe return home

Honorable Permanent and Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council:

Following the abduction of two Christian Leaders from the Aleppo region of Syria, we are no closer now than we were 72 hours ago to discovering their whereabouts. Again unconfirmed reports about their release at 4 a.m. this morning have been released by the media. The World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), a United Nations NGO, pleads with the UN Security Council to immediately find a way to resolve this catastrophe which will have major implications for the future of native Christianity in Syria.

Given the tragedy of the kidnapping, the WCA speaks for all people of faith around the world in requesting the Security Council to show compassion and enlightenment on this matter. On www.wca-ngo.org we offer the latest information on the abduction case and we also have collected there the most important statements of condemnation by world leaders known to us. The WCA has requested a number of other Governments and Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi (Syria’s Special Envoy) to follow suit. Until our Archbishops are freed, however, we continue to ask for more statements and action to be taken.

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 innocent men of peace. In fact, the SC statement could go further and condemn the sectarian violence of all forms, especially the leaders of any religious group. This mirrors the recent UN SC Statement (SC/10953) on 22 March which strongly condemned the attack on a mosque in Damascus, Syria, on 21 March, causing over 40 deaths, including a senior Muslim cleric. The WCA and all Christians request the same here as it applies to the shocking abduction of the Archbishops in Aleppo.

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.

In point of fact, the conscientious question 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?

We thank you kindly in advance for your urgent consideration and support, and remain yours sincerely,

Johny Messo
World Council of Arameans (Syriacs),
Formerly “Syriac Universal Alliance”

Background information:
The World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), formerly Syriac Universal Alliance, is since 1983 a global umbrella organization of the Aramean (Syriac) people and since 1999 a United Nations NGO where it raises the neglected voice of the Aramean (Syriac) people.

This Semitic people is native to Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, but is yet to be recognized as such. In the last century, and in the last decade in Iraq, this vulnerable people has suffered profoundly from persecutions, massacres and mass exoduses in and from the lands where their ancestors and endangered Aramaic language have existed for more than 3,000 years.



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