Statement Concerning the Recent Sad Events in the Middle East

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”  (Matthew 5:11)

We, The Bishops and Representatives of the Eastern Churches in NSW- Australia who are gathered today, Friday 23rd of August 2013 in the Office of the Coptic Orthodox Church Diocese of Sydney, are following closely the unfortunate incidents occurring in the Middle East. We have been witnessing the wide spread targeted attacks on churches and Christians over the past few years, and which sadly have escalated to levels unknown till now.

We express our total rejection of all kinds of violence and we are deeply concerned by the spread of armed groups and dark malicious forces which are brutally attacking public entities and churches; terrorizing the civilians and destroying our original homelands. These attacks by the extremists and fanatics are unprecedented. We condemn these actions which stand against the basic notions of freedom of religion, morals, and human rights.

We support our people in our Motherlands in their aspirations for a prosperous and peaceful future for their countries.

Our sincere condolences are extended to the families of the victims and martyrs who gave their lives for their belief. We pray God the Almighty for the repose of the souls of the victims and to grant speedy recovery to all those who were injured and afflicted by these sad events. We have full faith and confidence in the Divine providence that will guide these nations in this delicate time of their history to a brighter future filled with justice, peace and democracy.

We value the stands of the friendly and loyal countries that understand the nature of these events and offer support.

We call upon the International Media to provide a comprehensive fair account of all events with truth, accuracy and honesty.

We ask our fellow Australians, as well as the Australian government to stand with our nations of origin; to speak out against these atrocities and do all what is in their means to stop these acts of violence immediately.

As an official seat holder of the United Nations Security Council, Australia has a unique historic opportunity and responsibility to stand up for and promote what our Nation believes in: democracy, freedom of religion, and human rights.

We will continue to support our people in their endeavour for love and forgiveness, though it bewilders them to watch the free and democratic Nations of this world which welcomed them as new citizens, shying away from taking a clear and appropriate stand against the acts of the fanatics and extremists.

As a sign of solidarity we invite all our faithful, as well as our fellow citizens with our public officials to join us for a prayer vigil on Thursday 29th August 2013 at 7:00 p.m., at St. Anthony and St. Paul Coptic Church at 29 Bolton Rd, Guildford.

We pray our merciful God to alleviate the pain and the suffering of the afflicted and their families, asking Him through the intercession of the Virgin Mary to guide us and enlighten us to bring peace and joy where chaos and pain prevail, mainly to the Middle East region. 

+ Most Reverend Robert Rabbat                + Archbishop Paul Saliba

Melkite Catholic Eparch                               Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese
Australia & New Zealand 

+ Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay             + Bishop Daniel

Maronite Bishop of Australia                        Coptic Orthodox Church
                                                                 Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions

+Mor Malatius Malki                                +Mar Yakoob Daniel

Syrian Orthodox Church                              Ancient Church of the East
Archdiocese of Australia & New Zealand       Archdiocese of Australia & New Zealand

+Archbishop Mar Meelis Zaia AM            + Bishop Jibrael Kassab

Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church              Chaldean Catholic Church
of the East. Archdiocese of Australia,
NZ and Lebanon.

+Bishop Haigazoun Najaran                      +Very Rev Msgr Basil Sousanian

Armenian Apostolic Church                          Patriarchal Vicar
                                                                 Armenian Catholic Church   

+Very Rev Msgr Michael Berbari               +Rev Fr Yousef Yousef     

Patriarchal Vicar                                          Coptic Catholic Church
Syrian Catholic Church                                                       


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