His Excellency Dr. Bashar al-Assad
President of the Syrian Arab Republic Most Noble
We offer Your Excellency the most gracious greetings in our name and on behalf
of all the Syrian Orthodox in the world, and wish to say:
In these difficult circumstances through which our beloved country is
encountering, we held the prayers to Almighty God for the sake of Syria, to
which we belong, and it bears our name at home and abroad.
We spent a whole month in Germany and the Netherlands, where we carried the
country in our conscience. From the venue of our residency there, we were
advising our beloved Syrian flocks in every place they exist to stand against
every manifestation of violence, and support the establishment of peace,
stability and security, with the focus on dialogue as the language of all.
History has taught that the more the culture of citizenship is deepened in our
mind, the more the feeling of our belonging to the soil of Syria became true.
For this, and from our position as the Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox
Church in the world, we see that increasing the spaces of dealing with public
freedom, the depth rootedness of awareness among the people of the one nation;
will contribute to the enrichment of its plurality of cultures, sects and
ethnicity. Thus, everyone remains loyal to the one nation which we want always
to see it holding its own sovereignty, stability, dignity, and freedom. As such,
every Syrian citizen seeks shade under the umbrella of the country which is for
all, where participatory process is mandated to lead to a democratic practice of
freedom of belief, and freedom of expression and concepts. Such space will
ultimately bring more dignity and citizenship which we desire to people.
We assure you, Mr. President, as we have been in the past, so we will in the
present and in the future defend the processes of social justice, the rule of
the law, civil peace, unity and common living. We reject the chaos which is
shaking our Syrian national mosaic system of unity. Together, with the entire
spectra of the society, we are also ready to face the influx of foreign plans
which desire to undermine our future as we hope and we want it.
We pray, Mr. President, to deepen the reforms and to be sustained under your
leadership in all aspects of public life in our beloved Syria. We ask Almighty
God to accept the souls of the righteous martyrs of this nation in His land, and
make them rest with the righteous.
Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East
Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church