WCA speaks at UN in Geneva: Syria's Christian presence endangered

On Tuesday, 18 March 2014, a four-headed WCA Delegation arrived in Switzerland to participate in the 25th Session of the United Nations' Human Rights Council in order to call attention for the dire situation of Syria's native Aramean Christians. During the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, the WCA expressed its deep concerns about the endangered presence of the Christians in yet another predominantly Muslim country. It further called upon the UN member states, such as the United States, Qatar and Turkey, "to break their screaming silence and speak up for the suffering Christians." 

Click here to download the statement in PDF or click here to watch the address given by the WCA President (Mr. Johny Messo) via the UN Webcast (under number 3).


Thank you for recognizing us, Mr. President.

We thank the members of the Commission of Inquiry led by Mr. Pinheiro for reporting on the human rights situation in Syria, our war-torn homeland.

We are here on behalf of the indigenous Aramean (Syriac) people of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. The presence of this Semitic people in their homeland becomes gloomier each day. Christianity and Aramaic, our mother tongue that is known as the language of Jesus, are rapidly disappearing from their original birthplace.

Mr. President, it is extremely regrettable that the recent dialogue between the warring parties here in Geneva turned out to be fruitless. A political solution to the conflict still seems to be out of reach.

Therefore, we commend the urgent call by the COI that the members of the Security Council bear a major responsibility to resolve the ongoing bloodshed of innocent civilians in Syria.

The COI speaks of external actors who support the belligerents financially and logistically. We ask the COI to explicitly identify them, so that the international community can hold them accountable and stop them from further fuelling this conflict.

Last year, we provided the COI with evidence pertaining to the ongoing systematic persecution of Syria’s Christians. Hence we ask the COI, why its Report remains silent about the fact that vulnerable minorities like Syria’s defenseless Christians are driven out of their homeland, just like we have experienced before in Turkey and Iraq.

When Prince Charles recently visited our Syriac Orthodox church in London, he acknowledged the plight and disappearance of our people, stating: “we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.”

We acknowledge Russia’s commitment to repeatedly voice the plight of Syria’s Christians. We ask the USA, France, the UK, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and Turkey as well as the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its 57 Islamic states, to break their screaming silence and speak up for the suffering Christians, who continue to be threatened, kidnapped, tortured, raped and killed – all in the name of Islam and in sheer violation of human rights as evidenced by many NGOs.

As a matter of fact, it becomes increasingly difficult for our people to believe that there is not a deliberate plan behind this, leading to the extermination of Christianity in the Middle East, where Christianity was born and may soon die a silent death if nothing will change.

Christians, wherever they are, are artisans of peace. By protecting Christians, you ensure peace for the future in the Middle East.

Thank you Mr. President.


foto 3 foto 5 Russia

Photo 1: f.l.t.r. Ms. Sarah Bakir (WCA Syria Desk Officer), Mr. Johny Messo (WCA President), Ms. Karen Koning AbuZayd (Commissioner COI on Syria), Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, (Commissioner COI on Syria), Mr. Basil Özkaya (WCA Main Delegate to the UN Geneva), Mr. Ehab Hassan (Human Rights Officer for COI on Syria)
Photo 2: Mr. Johny Messo
Photo 3: f.l.t.r. Mr. Johny Messo, H.E. Mr. Alexey Borodavkin (Russian Ambassador to the UN Geneva), Ms. Virginia Varli (WCA Int'l Law Intern), Ms. Sarah Bakir





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