His Beatitude’s speech from Jordan
His Beatitude’s speech from Jordan
In the general assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches
Amman September 6 – 2016
Your holiness and Beatitudes
Rev. father Michel Jalakh, the general secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches.
Peace of resurrection to all, from the Orthodox Antiochian Church. We convey a greeting of love to Jordan and to you brothers the participants in this meeting, from Damascus the center of our seat.
We come from Damascus carrying the fragrance of its Jasmine that is spread over the entire Sham region. We come from Damascus, from wounded Syria who despite her calamities and pains, spreads love and affection over Lebanon, Jordan, beloved Palestine, Iraq, Egypt and every other country and spot in the Middle East, and in this world.
How beautiful it is that brothers meet! That is what the psalmist said, and we too say today. How beautiful it is that we all meet by the eternal Jordan River, the river that ornaments and irrigates the lands of the early Christians!
We meet today at a time when the eastern man, who comes from all spectra and religions, has undergone a heavy burden under the anvil of anguish, hardships, displacement, killing, and terror.
We meet at a time when many Christians among whom are those of the east, pay the tax of destruction, and misuse of religion, and fake claims in human rights, for the purpose of destroying humanity.
We meet by the Jordan River so that we may become the voice shouting in the reconciled wilderness, shouting with the pains of the Syrians by whom I mean the displaced, the martyrs, and the children. We say: We have had enough of terror and takfeer. We want to live in peace.
We meet today in the Middle East Council of Churches; it is one family that has gone beyond everything, to look only at the face of Jesus Christ. From here we address the whole world and say: The Christians of the east are a part of the heart of the east and the identity of the east. The east itself is a part of their liver.
We say this, sealing it with our open hearts and good relationships with our Muslim brethren, with whom we share the same life and real brotherhood, despite all the quakes, and the ups and downs of history.
We say this, having in the depth of our hearts the 2 bishops of Aleppo John Ibrahim & Paul Yazigi whom all have been unable to release or uncover their destiny, which has stuck with the weaknesses of time for more than 3 years.
Today we are in the biggest assembly of the Christians of the east, and the 2 bishops are away from us, and our people are displaced under the pressure of terror that has not spared a mosque or a church, a sheikh or a priest.
We are here to raise our voices against everything done against Christians, and against others too, in every spot of the east. We are fully aware of what happened to them in Iraq. And we understand our situation in Syrian.
We are here to make our cry reach far of our people in Aleppo, Mhardeh and others. What is going on will not make us neglect our land, but it will rather urge us to defend it. We are here to address the whole world in regard to the existence of the Christians in the east. We say: we do not appeal to protection, we demand peace.
The Middle East Council of Churches is the image of our solidarity as Christians; it is the platform from which our voice travels to the whole world. This council is a pattern of open minds through which eastern Christianity confronts every endeavor to closed minds with the protection and sustenance of the church civilized heritage of each of its components. We are called to activate the role of the Council and strengthen it to be continuously the voice for eastern Christianity at present times.
The concerns of Christianity are themselves the concerns of man and homeland. That is why we are called to put an end to the tragedy that is active in Syria, and to find a peaceful solution as well.
We are called to elect a president for Lebanon to secure the normal function of the constitutional institutions.
We call on everyone for efforts that support peace in Iraq and in the other countries of the east. We pray that God may support our efforts. We also pray that he may support the beloved Jordan and his majesty king Abdullah Bin Alhusain for the prosperity of man in Jordan and its vicinity. May the lord bless this east and its countries and give it with the rest of the world a flow of His holy light and fill the hearts of the participants in this meeting with His abundant and divine mercy.