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Patriarchs Meet in Syria, Issue Call for Peace

L to R: Patriarchs Gregorios III, Ignatius Aphrem II, John X, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Ignatius Joseph IIIL to R: Patriarchs Gregorios III, Ignatius Aphrem II, John X, Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Ignatius Joseph IIIOn Monday, June 8, 2015, the five Patriarchs of the churches of Antioch met in a summit in Damascus to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East. "We are authentic (people) of this land, deeply rooted in its earth that was watered by the sweat of our fathers and grandfathers, and we confirm more than ever that we are staying," noted the statement released following the meeting, which was reported in several news outlets including Reuters and Ecumenical News.

His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, was in attendance, as was Ignatius Aphrem II of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church,, and Bechara Boutros al-Rahi of the Maronite Church. The Vatican Ambassador to Syria, Archbishop Mario Zenari, also participated. The Patriarchs called for "a culture of openness, peace and freedom of belief" in the region, and urged the international community to seek the political solutions that will lead to such conditions.  

Read more from Reuters