17 April 2018, 18:14
Peacemaking initiative of Christian leaders in response to the situation in the Middle East
Published below is the text of the peacemaking appeal which was discussed during a telephone conversation between Pope Francis of Rome and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on April 14, 2018.
The text was supported by His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria and All Africa, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Great Antioch and All the East, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, His Holiness Tawadros II the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in All Africa and the Middle East, and His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II of Antioch and All the East.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God (Mt 5:9)
Impelled by a sense of responsibility for the millions of Christians that God has entrusted to our spiritual care and for the wellbeing of the entire human family, which shares a common destiny, we join together to speak out at this time of heightened international tension.
The ongoing hostilities in the Middle East, which in recent years have brought immense suffering, claimed the lives of many thousands of people and caused the flight of millions of refugees, now threaten to turn into a global conflict.
Our world has reached a point where there is a real danger of a breakdown in international relations and cooperation for the common good of the human family.
Clearly, the horrors of the world wars of the last century can hardly be compared with the dire consequences of a world war at the present time.
In the face of this terrible threat, we appeal to all world leaders to recognize their responsibility before their respective nations, before mankind and before God.
We likewise appeal to the countries of the United Nations, and particularly members of the Security Council, to recall their duties towards the family of nations, and we implore them, in the name of God, to overcome their disagreements and to work together for peace in the world.
Together we call upon the political leaders to avoid a further escalation of tensions, to eschew confrontation and to embrace dialogue.