We have been launching one appeal after another, following criminal acts by takfiri gangster groups – acts which do not spring from religion but from disbelief in God, humanity and all spiritual, humane and social values.
Today we launch a cry of conscience before the whole world, threatened as it is by the risk of a tsunami of these variously-named insurgent groups. This is an appeal for our brothers and sisters in faith and humanity, martyrs for their faith, twenty-nine righteous citizens of Ethiopia, belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
We commemorate their pure lives and offer condolences to his Holiness Abune Mathias I, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, to the honourable Ethiopian Government and the Ethiopian people, especially the families bereft of their loved ones. We express our spiritual and human solidarity with them all.
We call upon the international community to stand shoulder to shoulder against these criminal organizations. The real deterrent posture is to work to bring peace and stop arms and armaments, weaponry and the destructive war machine. This is the guarantee of human dignity in religion and self-respect, freedom and honour, prosperity, security and trust.
May the blood of our martyrs be the seed of our faith and we implore the God of peace to let us enjoy desired peace in our tormented land, saying, “O Lord our God, give us peace, for thou hast given us everything.”
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem
Chairman of the Council of Heads of Catholic churches in Syria