Article via Voice of Russia and RIA Novosti
Russia is interested in preventing the extinction of the Christian church in Syria, the Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said Tuesday at a meeting with the Patriarch of Antioch and All The East John X. "The prospect of a complete exodus of Christians from Syria if such a thing is allowed, threatens to spread the process to other Middle Eastern countries - Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, this kind of scenario, in our view, would be a civilizational catastrophe for the entire Middle East.
Our country is going to do its best to prevent this catastrophe "- said Matvienko, adding that half a million of Christians In Syria were forced to leave their homes, according to recent data.
Matvienko believes, the disappearance of the Christian church in Syria can lead to «the fatal transformation of historically developed nature of the region." She noted that Damascus should strive to maintain the country's principle of coexistence of different faiths.
Speaking of the international conference on the Syrian settlement "Geneva-2", the Federation Council speaker noted that Russia intends to continue its efforts to support the Geneva process and seek to connect "all sound forces of the world" to it. "Geneva-2" - is the first step to finding a peaceful resolution, a difficult, but crucial work in continuing the dialogue in search for a peaceful resolution of the conflict ", - said Matvienko.
In turn, Patriarch John X thanked Matviyenko for the support and reminded that the relationship between the two churches - the Russian Orthodox and the Antiochian - is historical in nature and established since the time when Russia adopted the Christian faith.
"This love and this bond between our two churches endured through centuries and passed different stages" - said the Patriarch. Original here
Articles from ITAR-TASS
Russia is studying what secular authorities and churches can do in order to overcome the crisis in Syria and calm down the situation in the region - Russia's FM
Russia is studying what secular authorities and churches can do in order to overcome the crisis in Syria and calm down the situation in the region, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with Patriarch John X of Antioch on Wednesday.
“We value traditional relations between our churches. They help reach accord, which is indispensable in the world and in the Middle East,” Lavrov said.
Mikhail, first metropolitan of Rus, came from Syria, the minister said.
“Traditional interaction, friendship and brotherly relations between our churches are in demand as never before,” he said, adding that the Arab Spring events “affect the fate of Christians, who lived with Arabs in peace and accord over two thousand years”.
“Today the coexistence, friendship between Orthodox believers and Muslims are under serious tests. Thus, our dialogue is important to prevent the worse scenario,” Lavrov said.
Patriarch John X of Antioch has thanked Russia for the peace position that the country takes on the situation in Syria.
“Russia’s position on the Middle East, particularly on Syria and Lebanon, is especially important and it is based on the hard-and-fast guidelines,” the patriarch said at a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.
John X also praised Russia’s humanitarian supplies to Syria. “We’re distributing humanitarian aid to everyone without any difference - to Christians and Muslims. We note the importance of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims and we stand for peace in the region,” the patriarch of Antioch said
“We deeply regret that problems Syria’s Christians are living through do not sidestep you,” Lavrov said
Russia does its utmost to release a metropolitan abducted in suburbs of the north Syrian city of Allepo last April, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in his opening remarks to a meeting with Patriarch John X of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East on Wednesday.
“We deeply regret that problems Syria’s Christians are living through do not sidestep you,” he said.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia recalled earlier that the fate of two Christian hierarchs - Metropolitan Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo, brother of Patriarch John X, and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo - remained unknown.
Moreover, Mother Superior Pelagia Sayyaf and nuns from the world-famous St Thekla convent in the Syrian village of Maaloula kidnapped last December have been still held hostage. Originals here and here