Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch John X Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun and other religious repersentatives.
In the day in which the messenger of peace was born in Bethlehem, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East (Mariamite Church) gathered all the brothers in a common prayer for the peace in Syria. This prayer attended by all the sister churches in Syria and the Muslims leaders, was an opportunity to show the real face of Syria. Pope Francis, from Rome, took this opportunity to greet the “brothers praying for the peace in Damascus” and to insist on the necessity of establishing peace in Syria and in all the world. The Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic Dr. Hassoun delivered a speech in which he insisted on the concrete fraternity between the Muslims and the Christians. At the end of this prayer, His Beatitude John X delivered a speech in which he showed through many examples that the Levant is the best region attesting to the real fraternity and common destiny between the Christians and Muslims. He also invited all to adopt the logic of dialogue and acceptance of the other as a unique way to establish peace.
Pope Francis mentions the Damascus gathering in his Urbi et Orbi Christmas Message
"Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid......Recalling the power of prayer, he expressed his happiness that followers of different religions were all praying together for peace in Syria; he also invited non-believers “to desire peace with that yearning that makes the heart grow: all united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace!” Full message here
News report and video from Press TV
A huge mass was held in the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus and attended by Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and The Mufti of Syria. Prayers called for peace for the country and the souls of those who sacrificed their lives for protecting the homeland. Prayers also called for the return of those who have been abducted by Takfiri militants. Foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria recently took over the ancient Christian town of Maloula in Damascus countryside. A large number of residents were displaced. Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists also stormed the Orthodox Mar Takla convent in the middle of the city and abducted several nuns. The Maloula incident is not the isolated one. The militants have sabotaged many churches across the country in recent months. And, mortars fired by them continue to claim the lives of both Christians and Muslims including women and children. Christians in Syria celebrated the Christmas amid calls to boost the security of their war-torn country. Syrian Christians believe that their country will only be stronger with their presence and steadfastness. And despite their sufferings, they still try to live a normal life, hoping stability would be restored.