I cannot remember a time in my priesthood when I have written a letter on a political subject – however, my conscience is deeply troubled by the military actions against the government in Syria being contemplated by our government. Today, I received an email from Rawad Massouh, M.D. (husband of Shannah, father of Edmund and Noah). He is a native of Syria and still has family living there. His voice seems to be the sound of the one voice of the Christians living in Syria, whether Orthodox, Catholic, or otherwise. They have been living in constant danger from the rebel forces and face possible extinction from those groups should they come into power. Christian leaders across the world – Orthodox bishops, Catholic bishops (the Pope included), have asked the U.S. to refrain from military action.
I am asking you to read Massouh’s letter and to look at the link I’ve provided to the posting of the Antiochian Archdiocese (America’s third largest Orthodox jurisdiction). Antioch is under the Patriarch of Antioch, who lives in Damascus.
There are links in that article provided for contacting congressional leaders. I have sent letters to our Senators and Congressman. Please pray for the people of Syria, both Christian, Muslim and others. Pray for peace. Pray for the protection of the Christian minorities who have dwelt there since the time of the New Testament. If your conscience moves you as it has me, then you will contact your representatives and ask them to oppose military action.
Thank you for letting me speak so boldly. Pray for Massouh and his family and the family of the Church!
I think you have been following the debate about our intervention in Syria, this is truly a disastrous situation, and our government has never done anything this criminal, even including the wars on Serbia, Iraq, and Lybia.
We are supporting Al-Qaida and Al-Qaida like fighters against every free thinking individual in Syria.
Can you please send this email to the parishioners in our church. And I ask all of them to send an urgent message to the Senators Alexander and Corker asking them to vote no on Monday.
They have killed enough Christians and moderate Muslims in the Middle East but our administration wants to finish them all.
Here is the email I sent them to let everybody know my view on the situation:
As Syrian American, it brings me grief and frustration to see that our leaders are even considering military action against Syria.
Why are we supporting the extremists in Syria?Why is this administration trying to distort the truth?. Mr. Kerry and Sen. McCain are trying to show the rebels as moderate fighters. I’m from syria, my family is still there, and I can tell you with great confidence that over 90% of the rebels are foreigner and local extremists with ties to Al- Qaida and Al-Qaida like organizations.
They claim that chemical weapons represent danger to our national security, but we have no problem overthrowing a government and placing chemical weapons in the hands of terrorists. This is something I can’t totally comprehend. Common sense says our military strike is causing danger to our national security.
They are trying to sell the congress and the American people that the Syrian regimen has used chemical weapons without a single convincing proof. Why would the Syrian army do it when it is winning the war and the rebels are asking every day for support stating that they can’t survive anymore?.
Why are we ignoring the crimes of the rebels? Few days prior to the alleged ” chemical attack” the rebels attacked twelve villages and killed and beheaded over 500 women and children and elderly, all documented with videos and reports to the United Nations human rights committees. They have already kidnapped and killed thousands of civilians, mainly Christians and other minorities just because of their religion. These ” moderate rebels” have no problem videotaping them beheading priests and putting the Vedio on YouTube?!! These “moderate rebels” killed and destroyed all minority communities in the areas under their control. Can Mr. Kerry explain why there is no minorities left in the areas under rebels control?.
Two days ago they attacked Christian town of Maloola, bombing historic churches, terrorizing and killing people in a town with no military bases or government military presence, they had the atrocity to do that while we are deciding to help them and of course our media ignored it.
In a country with over 35% of its population considered ethnic minorities, there is no minority fighters amongst the rebels, why is that? Have we seen that in terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen?
What will these fighters do to people who don’t agree with them if they gain upper hand? This is Taliban government all over again.
Do Mr. Kerry and McCain have an answer to that?.
I urge you to think about the millions of civilians and innocent people who will be killed by the extremist. Rebels if we overthrow the government in syria. We all will stand in front of god one day and be judged on participating in this crime.
I’m not saying that the government in Syria is perfect or democratic. We need change, but the real solution in Syria is by promoting love and tolerance and peaceful dialogue, not by bombing and sending military aid to extremists.
The majority of our nation is against this war, and our democracy guarantees that our politicians respond to their people, and I’m confident that you will make the right decision
I apologize for the long email, but I hope it will give you the true prospective of what is going on.