The statement issued by the Synod Fathers on the situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine

The statement issued by the Synod Fathers on the situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine

“Our voices are join the cries of the many innocent people: no more violence, no more terrorism, no more destruction, no more persecution! Hostilities and arms trafficking must stop immediately!” The Synod Fathers wrote this in a message on the current situation in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.

“For years now” families in the Middle East “have been subjected to numerous atrocities as a result of the bloody conflicts underway. Their living conditions have worsened in the last months and weeks.”

“The use of weapons of mass destruction, indiscriminate killings, beheadings, the kidnapping of human beings, the trafficking of women, the enlistment of children, persecution based on faith and ethnicity, the destruction of places of worship and of cultural heritages, in addition to numerous other atrocities, have forced thousands of families to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, often in extremely precarious conditions.”

“They are currently prevented from returning to exercise their rights to live in dignity and safety in their own homeland and from helping rebuild their country, contributing to its spiritual and material wellbeing,” the Synod Fathers wrote. “In this dramatic context, the fundamental principles of human dignity and peaceful and harmonious co-existence between individuals and populations are constantly violated, as are the most basic of rights, namely the right to life, religious freedom and international humanitarian law.”

The Synod Fathers  expressed their closeness “to the patriarchs, bishops, priests, the consecrated and faithful, as well as to all inhabitants of the Middle East… Let us remember all those who have been kidnapped and call for their release.” Peace in the Middle East is to be sought “not by imposing certain choices, but by taking political decisions that are respectful of the cultural and religious traditions of each single nation and the various entities they are composed of.”

The Fathers thanked Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and “many European countries for welcoming refugees in,” and they sent out an appeal to the international community “to set aside any special interests and resort to diplomatic means, dialogue and international to resolve issues.”

“We are adamant,” the Synod bishops said in their statement, “that peace is possible and that the violence in Syria, Iraq, Jerusalem and the Holy Land can be stopped as it is increasingly affecting families and innocent civilians and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Reconciliation is the fruit of fraternity, justice, respect and forgiveness.” After expressing the hope that Jews, Christian and Muslims alike can “see in each other a brother and sister who deserves respect”, the Fathers extended their thoughts and prayers with equal concern and love, to all families that find themselves in similar situations in other parts of the world, particularly Africa and Ukraine”. The Synod Fathers also issued a “strong” call for these people to also be allowed to “return to a dignified and peaceful life”.

Vatican Insider