ASIA/SYRIA - President Assad meets the Patriarch and the Synod of Syrian-Orthodox Bishops

Friday, 12 June 2015

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad received members of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church yesterday, Thursday, June 11, in Damascus, who in these days under the leadership of Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II are participating in their annual assembly at the shrine of Our Lady of Saidnaya, 30 kilometers from Damascus, which houses a precious Marian icon attributed to Saint Luke. During the talks, among other things, the Syrian President spoke of a "terrorist, extremist thought, which knows neither borders nor nationalities", as an instrument of power project that aims to disrupt Syria and to destroy the coexistence among different religious communities.
On their behalf, as widely reported by the official media of the Syrian regime, members of the Syrian Orthodox Synod expressed the hope that Syria continues to be the "home for all Syrians and their various affiliations", and "a sanctuary for all those who believe in the true values of humanity, despite the ferocious terrorist war against the Country". Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II stressed that the decision to hold the Synodal Assembly in Saidnaya wants to be a sign of closeness and solidarity towards the Syrian people, torn by more than four years of conflict.
The Synod gathers Bishops and representatives of the Syrian Orthodox Church coming not only from various parts of Syria, also from Iraq, Turkey, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Brazil and India. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 12/06/2015)