We call upon all local and international leaders to make every effort to protect civilians in Syria.

Communities in various parts of Syria have for some time now been the target of indiscriminate shelling or abuse directed at the elderly, women, children and the disabled. Arbitrary abductions for exorbitant ransom and intimidation or coercion have developed into a running sore. The number of innocent victims from remote and destitute populations is inexorably increasing. Recently, Rableh village, close to the border with Lebanon, was the scene of serious incidents of the sort.

We strongly urge that these gratuitous, unjustified attacks on peaceful, harmless folk be stopped. The international community ought not to underestimate these crimes that violate human dignity and contravene international conventions.

This appeal arises from our concern for the future of the many Syrian cities whose inhabitants, though undergoing all kinds of privations, abuse and threats for months now, still remain attached to their native land. I would like to express my paternal solidarity and fellowship with them in their sufferings.

My thanks go to the peace-makers, especially Musalaha representatives, who are dedicated to saving innocent lives all over Syria, calming people down so as to defuse disputes and spreading harmony with a view to sparing further bloodshed in Syria. This is inextricably linked with the chief concern of our pastoral and patriarchal ministry: for everyone to respect and protect the civilian population and save it from being the target of such horrors.

I beseech Heaven's mercy upon the victims, patience and consolation for their relatives and wisdom and compassion towards the aggressors. May respect for the sacred rights of human beings, created in the image of the Merciful God who loves mankind, shine forth in Syria!

 

 

نداء غبطة البطريرك غريغوريوس الثالث اللحام لحماية المدنيين في سوريا

اننا ندعو جميع السلطات المحلية والدولية لبذل كل الجهود الممكنة من اجل حماية المدنيين في سوريا، خصوصا وان مناطق متعددة في البلاد، هي عرضة ومنذ وقت ليس بقصير، الى القصف العشوائي والاعتداءات المتنوعة، تستهدف المسنين والنساء والأطفال والمعوقين.
ولن ننسى عمليات الخطف التعسفي التي تطال ومن دون توقف، ضحايا أبرياء من الفئات الفقيرة والمعزولة، الى عمليات الترهيب والاكراه التي باتت تشكل وباءا مستوطنا ومستشريا. وتمثل بلدة "ربلة" القريبة من الحدود اللبنانيّة، اصدق مثال حي على ما سبق واشرنا اليه.
اننا نحث المجتمع الدولي وبقوة، على وضع حد لهذه الهجمات والجرائم العبثيّة غير المبررّة التي تقوّض كرامة الإنسان وتنتهك الاتفاقيات الدولية.
ونوجه نداءنا هذا، حرصا ايضا على مستقبل العديد من المدن السورية ومستقبل سكانها، الذين يعانون منذ اشهر جميع أنواع الإساءة والحرمان والتهديد، ونحييهم لأنهم رغم كل شيء، لا يزالون متمسكين بالبقاء في ارض اجدادهم.
كما ونشدد في نفس الوقت، ومن منطلق واجباتنا كبطريرك وراع، على تضامننا الابوي مع اهلنا هناك ، ونشكر جهود محبي السلام وصانعيه، ونخصّ منهم ممتلي المصالحة، الذي ينشطون في كل ارجاء البلاد لاجل انقاذ أرواح الأبرياء، وتهدئة الخواطر، وتجنب النزاعات وزرع الوئام لحفظ سوريا، ومنع اراقة المزيد من الدماء، وليبقى السكان المدنيّون بمنأى عن كل انواع المخاطر.
نستمطر رحمة السماء على ارواح الضحايا، والعزاء والصبر لاهليهم، والحكمة والتروي للمعتدين.
وندعو اخيرا، الى احترام الحقوق المقدسّة للانسان في سوريا، انه المخلوق على صورة الله الرحوم والمحب للبشر.


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)