Sectarian and Religious Conflicts Threaten Everyone, Says Syriac Archbishop

Syrian refugees in this undated photo.
By MidEast Christian News
Archbishop Yacobos Issa of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Austria and Switzerland explained that the relationship between the Coptic and Syriac churches is a fraternal relationship based on love and unity of faith.

The archbishop pointed out that rapprochement between Christian denominations has become an urgent necessity in today’s world because sectarian and religious conflicts have become a danger that not only threatens individuals but entire nations as well.

Archbishop Issa told Mideast Christian News that the continuation of the Syrian crisis hurts the whole world because hundreds fall dead and wounded every day in a hateful struggle for power over the past two years in the regions.

“Christians in Syria are a key component of the community and they feel pain for this bitter conflict and war, but there is no direct threat against them, but against Syrian society, which consists of several denominations under citizenship and Arabism,” Archbishop Issa told MCN.

He revealed he felt bitterness for the abduction of Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi, adding the noting that the longer the abduction period lasts the more concerned they get for their safety.

“The Syrian people condemn involving Christian clergy in Syria as a party in political conflict,” the archbishop added. “The church is trying to move away from politics and calls on everyone to stop fighting and bloodshed and resort to negotiated political solutions.”

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The archbishop stressed the importance of deepening Islamic-Christian dialogue in the Arab region and fostering national unity and coexistence because slipping into the trap of religious conflicts and sectarian fighting is the end of any state.
He stated that this is already threatening many Arab countries, such as the bitter crises experienced by Lebanon, Iraq and other countries throughout the Middleeast.