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Patriarch of Antioch: Syrian Christians forced to repeat path of early Christian martyrs

January 27, 2014, 17:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Despite persecutions against Christians in Syria, they intend to struggle for peace and observe human rights by following the example of early Christian martyrs, Patriarch John X of Antioch said at the opening of the 2nd International Christmas Readings on Monday.

“The faith of Antioch Christians strengthens them despite the infirmity in the front of the armed conflict,” the Antioch patriarch said, adding “Antioch Christians are similar to early Christian martyrs. The faith is the priority for them now.”

He believes that Syrians have a chance to defend their convictions and their relics because “the cause of peace and dialogue is stronger than the logic of conflict”.

“Syria’s resurrection and its real spring are to cease the bloodshed and return clergymen, who were taken hostage because they served the cause for peace and mercy,” John X said.

MOSCOW, January 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Despite persecutions against Christians in Syria, they intend to struggle for peace and observe human rights by following the example of early Christian martyrs, Patriarch John X of Antioch said at the opening of the 2nd International Christmas Readings on Monday.

“The faith of Antioch Christians strengthens them despite the infirmity in the front of the armed conflict,” the Antioch patriarch said, adding “Antioch Christians are similar to early Christian martyrs. The faith is the priority for them now.”

He believes that Syrians have a chance to defend their convictions and their relics because “the cause of peace and dialogue is stronger than the logic of conflict”.

“Syria’s resurrection and its real spring are to cease the bloodshed and return clergymen, who were taken hostage because they served the cause for peace and mercy,” John X said.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia cited the statistics saying Christians were subject to persecutions. “In 2012 over 100,000 Christians were killed and in 2013 at least 70,000 Christians died. But we cannot specify the exact number of Christians, who were killed in Syria. Today the Church and mankind shudder to think of the atrocities of war,” the Russian patriarch said.

Christians of Syria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan suffer extremists, who continue attacks on believers in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, Patriarch Kirill said.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia cited the statistics saying Christians were subject to persecutions. “In 2012 over 100,000 Christians were killed and in 2013 at least 70,000 Christians died. But we cannot specify the exact number of Christians, who were killed in Syria. Today the Church and mankind shudder to think of the atrocities of war,” the Russian patriarch said.

Christians of Syria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan suffer from extremists, who also continue attacks on believers in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, Patriarch Kirill said.

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