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September 11 2017 | MÜNSTER, GERMANY

At the meeting #pathsofpeace, the cry of pain of christian Syria is heard

John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch: “The christians of the East search for someone who listens to their call. But in vain.”

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"Today, the christians of the East search for someone who listens to their call. But in vain!" This was the appeal to Europe of His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East on behalf of christians in Syria and the Middle East, tortured by war. He expressed this during the opening ceremony of the conference "Paths of Peace", organised in Münster by the Community of Sant'Egidio.

The Patriarch, brother of the Greek Orthodox bishop of Aleppo Paul Yazigi, kidnapped four years ago together with Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim (Syrian Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo), declared: "I cannot comprehend how the international community can ignore the case of the bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi and the other priests that were taken hostage over four years ago. I cannot comprehend how the political leaders of this world can stand with their arms folded and watch the bloody violence of our country, just to favour economical and geopolitical interests that serve their inhumane short term schemes."

Turning to the authorities, the Patriarch affirmed: "The world should improve spreading a culture of dialogue in the Middle East, wiping away the culture of the sword. Liberating our country from the grip of terrorism... Planting the roots of peace is the only thing that can protect us. We have been rooted here, in all of the East, for over two thousand years! We have been born here, we have lived here and here we will die."

According to the Patriarch "the experience of suffering should reunite the peoples instead of distructing them" and it is necessary to "collaborate to heal our societies through a sincere reconciliation and a true construction of peace." To that end, he concluded, "in the Church of Antioch and all the East we live with a great hope. We believe that living together peacefully and in sincere dialogue between all religions, communities and cultures is the foundation of sustainable reconciliation and true peace."

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