East Patriarchs: For criminalizing attacks on Christians and their properties

NNA – East Catholic Patriarchs on Wednesday underscored “the necessity of putting an end to the terrorist and fundamentalist organizations,” saying the international community should not remain idle in terms of the existence of “the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Daash.”

“Attacks on Christians and their properties should be criminalized,” East Patriarchs said in a statement in the wake of their meeting at Bkirki attended by the diplomats of P5, to broach the present situation of Christians in the region and presidential polls in Lebanon.

The meeting took place in the presence of Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Gabriele Caccia, Russian Ambassador, Alexander Zasypkin, US Ambassador, David Hale, British Ambassador, Tom Fletcher, the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, and Charge D’affaires of the Embassy of France, Jerome Kochar, and Chinese Charge D’Affaires, Han Jing.

“The international community is also responsible for the growing of ‘Daash’ and Takfiri movements,” Patriarchal Vicar, Archbishop Boulos Sayyah, said while reading out the meeting’s statement, stressing the need for putting pressure on the financiers of these organizations to cut off the sources of terrorism.

East Patriarchs said that the assault on Christians threatens the Christian presence in a lot of countries, notably in Egypt, Syria and Iraq, saying it is even very painful to witness at the same time the silence of the world powers on such events.

The Patriarchs also thanked all those who hosted them in the Kurdistan region, providing them with all the needed humanitarian, moral and financial assistance, asking the international community to “work hard to find homes for them, liberate their properties and protect their rights and security.”

They also stressed “the necessity of working to liberate the towns of Nineveh and facilitate the return of the displaced to their homes, in addition to ensuring the security of these towns with local and international guarantees to prevent displacement.”

The Patriarchs also affirmed that the Christians remain steadfast to their lands and liberties, indicating that the solution to the current ordeal requires addressing the causes that led to these events in the Middle East. They stressed the need to stop supporting the financing of these terrorists and arming them.

They also underlined the need for the spread of the notion of the modern state, calling for the rise of the civil state so that the countries of the East would be able to live in peace.

Turning to Lebanon, the Patriarchs also implored all political blocs to separate the issue of presidential polls from the path of regional and international conflicts, calling for a swift understanding on the election of a new president.

“The election of the President is a duty prior to taking any decision regarding the forthcoming parliamentary polls,” said the patriarchs.