His Holiness Patriarch Kirill meets with the Grand Mufti of Syria

On 31 October 20124, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun.

Article via the Orthodox media outlet Cognate

They were joined in the meeting, which took place at the Patriarchal and Synodal residence in St. Daniel’s Monastery, by H.E. Riad Haddam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Syria to Russia; Mr. Inayatolla Hassoun, the Grand Mufti’s son, interpreter Nofal Kaltum, and archimandrite Philaret (Bulekov), vice-chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations.

The Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church warmly greeted the high guest and reminded him of their last meeting in Damascus in 2011.

‘You are a bright representative of the heroic Syrian people. You and your family have passed through the tragedy of terrorism and radicalism, and your calls to peace an cessation of civil confrontation sound very convincing, ‘ His Holiness underscored and continued to state that the position of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Federation on the crisis in Syria has not changed.

‘Peaceful life in Syria has been interrupt4ed through the intervention of the external forces which supported all who wanted to wage struggle against the government, including the most radical force, which has become very dangerous and is now known as the ISIL. It is ruining people’s life in Syria and Iraq and poses a real threat to peace in the region. The position of Syria as a state and the position of the Syrian people who still fight for their independence are very important. We support your people.’

His Holiness said that the situation in Syria and Iraq had become a great tragedy for Christian in these countries. He noted that both Christians and Muslim suffer from the acts of extremists and added: ‘As Christians are in minority, the Christian presence in the Middle East can be ended, which will be a civilizational catastrophe.

‘I recall the life of Syria before the war. We respect the experience of this country in constructing relations between Christians and Muslims and between different branches of Islam.

‘You as a spiritual leader of the Syrian people have done a lot for Syria so that it could continue its policy of interreligious peace. We express solidarity with your mission and with the Syrian people and do hope for the end of the war in the near future and for the establishment of a lasting and just peace,’ the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said.

The Grand Mufti of Syria said to the Patriarch that he was happy to meet him again and mentioned that their first meeting took place at the World Summit of Religious Leaders in Moscow in 2006.

He believes that the convocation of this forum was very important as the ever new hotbeds of hatred and confrontation appear in different corners of the globe.

Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun brought greetings to His Holiness from the President of Syria, Bashar Assad, and added that the people of Syria also conveyed their greetings. They are thankful for ‘the humanitarian aid sent by your Church and the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. The Syrians appreciated the fact that the aid was sent to the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Grand Mufti of Syria to be distributed among the needy.’

Sheikh Hassoun said that Muslims and Christians were citizens who enjoy full rights in Syria and called the actions of those using religious and national problems for spreading division and tension in the country destructive. Original article here.



Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

H.E Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Lebanon - Called on the U.S to “work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.

 H.B. Gregorios III Laham, Melkite greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - "Every day Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them."

H.H. Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (R.I.P.) - "Syrians are the only ones who will decide their destiny, and that decision will be taken in Damascus, not in a European country."

H.H. Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -  “Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region”.... the Patriarch denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, “Who appointed them [United States] as ‘policemen of democracy’ in the Middle East? ”

H.E. Maroun Laham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan  - “This interest, on the part of the United States or of Europe, for human rights or for the defence of the weak, no one believes. No one believes it!,”

H.E. Jacques Behnan Hindo,  Syriac Catholic Archbishop ofHassaké-Nisibi (northeastern Syria) - Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis “Please excuse my expression. They are screwing all Syrians

H.E. Theodosius Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia (Nablus, Palestine) - "Will the displacement of Christians from Syria, their killing and slaughter and the destruction of their churches lead to an alleged democracy?"

Rev. Georges Massouh Antiochian Orthodox priest and director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon. "It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads."