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Damascus - We: Ignatius IV Hazim,Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, and Gregorios III Laham, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, condemn the cowardly criminal act that took place in the Qazaz district of Damascus on the morning of Thursday, 10 May 2012, and condemn all acts of terrorism that have targeted different regions of the beloved Syrian land, claiming the lives of many innocent victims and wounding both civilians and military personnel, the children of this great nation.

In view of this grievous loss, we pray to God to heal the wounds of Syria and Syrians, and to restore the children of the one homeland to one another in love, openness and reconciliation, tolerance, mutual assistance and wisdom, preferring always the interest of the country to any other interest, distancing themselves from violence in all its forms, aiming for the good of our beloved country and building it again on the basis of civilized, humane, firm justice and good citizenship, co-existence and peaceful freedom of expression; all that is related to serving the nation and citizens.

With one mouth and one heart we raise our prayer to Almighty God to give rest to the souls of the homeland’s martyrs, comfort the hearts of the bereaved, preserve Syria and bring it to a haven of safety, peace, sovereignty and prosperity. In a spirit of pastoral responsibility we call on all the children of this country, both Muslims and Christians, to join us in prayer to Almighty God to protect Syrians from all danger and harm, trusting in the Lord’s saying to us: “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

May the name of the Lord be forever blessed.  Amen.