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Patriarch: If we don't stop the cutting throats in Syria, it will spread throughout the world

2016-02-04

After nearly five years of war in Syria and a refugee crisis unprecedented since the Second World War, peace talks have failed again. The UN has suspended the Geneva talks because there no understanding has been reached between the Syrian government and the main opposition groups.

While the current situation is prolonging the agony of the Syrian people,  Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan has denounced what he terms international indifference to the violence in the Middle East.

IGNATIUS JOSEPH III YOUNAN
Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch
"The Christian community in Iraq and Syria is increasingly discouraged because he sees that the family of powerful nations are not interested in the fate of vulnerable communities and minorities such as Christians. Only seek their own interests.”

He noted that in Syria, the cradle of civilization, the most ruthless atrocities against human rights are being committed. And he warns that if the radicalism of Islamic State is left unchecked, it will spread across the world.

IGNATIUS JOSEPH III YOUNAN
Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch
"These people who cut the throats of people, who kidnaps children and women, who sows hatred ... they will extend their fanaticism everywhere as soonthey can."

For these reasons the Patriarch is in favor of a ground intervention to halt the bloodshed. He believes that the Russian military’s intervention was less a move in favor of Assad and more one to help the Syrian people.

IGNATIUS JOSEPH III YOUNAN
Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch
"I, as patriarch, see the Russian intervention an action in favor of Syria, of the Syrian people."

He explains that outside interests from Saudi Arabia or Turkey have encouraged the revolution for religious reasons, as both Sunni countries are interested primarily in expelling Al Assad, an Alawite. The Patriarch is calling on moderate Muslims to speak out strongly against the violence directed at Christians.

IGNATIUS JOSEPH III YOUNAN
Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch
"They must clearly say that they do not accept attacks on Christians and other minorities. It is not enough to ask for not to kill Muslims because is forbidden because they have the same faith."

According to the UN, the Syrian war is the worst of the century. There are about four million people who have no access to humanitarian aid. 70 percent of the hospitals are destroyed, and it is difficult to find medicine or medical help.


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