A Roadmap for Peace in Syria, Mar Gregorios Yohanna Abraham Metropolitan of Aleppo

Dear Friend, 

I am in Aleppo!

Media has spread out the news that AlSyrian Quarters has been attacked and bombed, and this is an essential part of my diocese. I was disturbed and thought this is the right time to be with my people in Aleppo. I know it is dangerous and so difficult, but still this is one of the duties of a pastor to think about. 

I thank all those who wrote messages of consolation and solidarity for our current impasse in Syria. Sorry for the delay in my response, electronic communications became intermittent and difficult.

The shortage of electricity, water, bread, gas, gasoline and car fuel, in addition to the paralyses of the markets and unemployment were the privileges and products of the Arab Spring in Syria!

The lack of security and chaos coupled with encroaches on life and properties soon to become the order of the day.

The widespread of unprecedented phenomenon in Syria today is the kidnapping of people in day light. The lucky among them those whose kidnapers would negotiate a considerable ransom for their release alive or dead, required or killed and we have cases.

Furthermore, road block set by bandits on all Syrian highways, rendered travel between cities a great risk and created a state of horrors, revulsion and uncertainty.

We no longer can enjoy our peaceful co-existence the once we use to be proud of.  

I managed mercilessly to leave Aleppo to participate in the prayer for World Peace in the Summit of Representatives of World Religions at Enryakuji temple on Mount Hiei, Kyoto in Japan between 3-4 August. 

I felt that contrary to the Japanese governmental line on the Syrian crisis, the peace loving people of Japan are standing with the right and justice of the people in Syria. Many were moved to learn from my paper, in which I explain briefly the current situation in Syrian (enclosed). 

I was touched with the level of support and personal consolation that I received, and the concern about the bloodletting in Syria and tall of martyrdom which is now in excess of 30.000 in addition to more than 200.000 injured and in desperate situation, as well as thousands of displaced families and refugees. 

A this juncture, we cannot see the light at the end of our predicament tunnel, after all this detraction and mayhem we still hear that ”The Battle for Aleppo” with untold consequences is yet to start.

Needless to say, I am very sad, worried and afraid for what had happened to my country Syria during the last year and a half. We are at the end of our tether. But never abundant hope that a peaceful solution will be found. 

I would invite you to share with me fervent prayers for a peaceful out come to the Syrian crisis, for security, safety and stability. Syria of the future will be as it was a place for all Syrians regardless of their religious, cultural, linguistic or ethnic backgrounds. 

Thank you and all peace-makers who prayed for Syria and its people.

May the Lord bless you and your efforts. 


Mar Gregorios

Metropolitan of Aleppo



A Roadmap for Peace in Syria


Since mid-March 2011, my country Syria which is known to the world for its rich history, culture, healthy plurality and exemplary co-existence, is experiencing today unprecedented chaos. It all began with a peaceful protest movement and gradually escalated into multi-layered violence. The vulnerable majority has been devastated.

A long standing and unacceptable malpractices by some Syrian officials, began in the 1980s. These unchecked malpractices led to wide spread corruption, which gradually spread and infested many departments of the state. Naturally, this caused deep anxiety amongst Syrian citizens. The yoke of persistent corruption generated discreet popular foment which eventually triggered the protest movement.

The first spark was in reaction to arbitrary decisions taken by some security services. Syrian citizens thought a new wave of repression was dominating the thoughts and actions of some security services. The waves of changes were depicted as an “Arab Spring” which had a domino effect that swept through Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Syrians felt the breeze of the relative successes of those waves of changes. They thought the “Arab Spring” could be an effective tool to eradicate corruption, the plague of their society, hence the popular demonstrations.

The first spark was ignited at Dara’a, a town on the Jordanian border leading to restlessness in cities in mainland Syria then moved to the coastal cities. The major outbreak of violence began in Hama, a city which had experienced uprisings and ugly unrest in the1980s. Soon the unrest moved to the ancient city of Homs [Emesa] in the heart of Syria. Here, murder on identify, assassinations, kidnappings, vandalising, looting and setting on fire governmental buildings and public utility installations, were the order of the day. This violence and upheaval shattered the demographic fabric of the city and its ancient coexistence. Religious foment and forced displacements uprooted peaceful residents of the city. Homs became a ghost town; many quarters were deserted and fell into ruins. Inside those quarters, many religious houses of worship were ruined, especially seven old Christian churches. Thousands became homeless, many of whom are in urgent and desperate need of medical treatment and humanitarian relief which are still in short supply.

After the twentieth of July, other cities in Syria were attacked, such as Aleppo where we spent days and nights worried about the uncertain future of the population.

The protest movement created a state of anomaly in the Syrian society. A plethora of spine chilling scenarios started to be discussed openly in different political discourses including:

1 – Civil war of sectarian dimensions among people of one harmonious nation, who belonged to different religions, ethnicities, cultures and languages. They have lived for generations in one homeland called Syria.

2- UN Sanctions imposing a crippling international sanction under the auspices of the UN which harm the people more than the regime.

3- Military intervention under the Security Council cover in an attempt to put an end to the chaos and turmoil which prevail in Syria today.

4- Break up of the State: A nightmarish scenario which threatens the existence of the state by fragmenting it into many tiny entities. The different sectors of the Syrian society which comprise Christians, Muslims, Arabs and Kurds, who once co-existed in a pluralistic society, shared its resources and worked for the country’s progress and prosperity. They will be compartmentalized along their religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic lines.

Furthermore, no one denies that this upheaval is the result of peoples’ ideas, perceptions and visions in accordance with their varied allegiances. However, all agree to maintain in a united Syria as a homeland for all. Furthermore, a universal common popular vision is the expansion of the margin of freedom and the enrichment of pluralistic cultures, religions, sects and creeds. They seek to enhance freedom of belief, choice, gain greater dignity, and establish the concept of citizenship. They demand more social justice, the rule of law, civil society, unity, and co-existence. They have agreed to work together and stand against those who want to propagate chaos and anarchy which undermine the bond of the national fabric and destroy the concept of national unity.

Is there a solution to spare Syria further bloodshed? So far, the Syrian society has suffered in excess of 30.000 martyrs, including victims of the massacre of July 18, 2012. Clearly, no one is safe or immune from the spiraling violence.

Is it possible that the solution to this socio-political crisis can come simultaneously from inside and outside Syria? A solution mutually accepted to all factions? A solution which could prove tenable, plausible and effective in addressing the root causes of the protest movement, activate the role of law, de-escalate the state of anxiety, and bring about security, safety and stability?

So far, the most important endeavours to re-establish peace and stability in Syria is the international initiative of Mr. Kofi Annan. It has not yet attained the desirable level of success.  Annan’s initiative requires the implementation of the following:

First: To bring about a lasting cease-fire between the warring parties in Syria, and establish security and normality to the daily living of Syrians.

Second: The needed humanitarian aid must be allowed to enter freely and swiftly, especially in areas that are currently beyond the reach of international aid organizations and agencies. The Red Cross and Red Crescent should be allowed to provide the desperately needed humanitarian assistance and relief for all those in need and in all areas. The scope of humanitarian need is vast.

Third: Repatriate all displaced citizens who suffered forced, internal and external, immigration.

Fourth: The warring factions must be brought to the negotiating table. Such negotiations should involve the entire Syrian spectrum; representatives of the opposition both in and out of Syria should be included. The main aim of such negotiations is to free Syria from the clutches of evil which is strangling the Syrian society.

Hopefully, successful negotiations could lead to a new formula to secure the return of peace and stability to Syria. It may be a National Council at home with full representation of the full spectrum of the Syrian mosaic. Such a Council will lead Syria to the next phase. The success of such an important national initiative of reconciliation will hopefully bring accord among belligerent factions in Syria.

Such a National Council should be charged with following priorities.

1. Development of constitutional principles to ensure equal rights for all citizens.

2. Formulation of future Syrian internal and external policies.

3. Address the undesirable outcomes of the crisis, such as: the divisions of the army and restoration of its unity.

4. Establish a code of conduct for the Syrian security services to insure that mistakes of the past will not be repeated.

5. Most important of all is the restoration of confidence and mutual respect among all citizens.

The National Council should be accountable to a national unity government that embraces all parties, including the opposition both inside and outside Syria.

The most important tasks of this government should be to:

1. Ensure free and fair elections for the new parliament.

2. Establish a professional commission able to develop a modern and permanent constitution, to ensure the elimination of the concept of hegemony of individuals, political or religious parties, a norm experienced in many Arab countries.

3. Establish a new law of parties to regulate their participation in the political life of a new Syria.

4. Arrange for the election of a new president under the new constitution; a leader who can uphold the interests of Syria, and return it to safe, secure, stable, peaceful and democratic state.

Lastly, an appeal from all honest and noble citizens of Syria to peace-lovers everywhere, and especially in our gathering here at Mt Hiei, to help stop the blood-shed in Syria, and to be part of bringing peace, prosperity, dignity and comfort to the country and its people.


Japan, Kyoto 3 August 2012


Mar Gregorios Yohanna Abraham
Metropolitan of Aleppo

Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese
Mar Simaan AlAmoudi str. suleimanieh
POBox 4194 Aleppo, Syria

2 svar till “A Roadmap for Peace in Syria, Mar Gregorios Yohanna Abraham Metropolitan of Aleppo”
  1. joseph skriver:

    En Arkebiskop näst högst man kan komma i den kyrkliga hierarkin,och en sånt herre han får sina order bara av Gud,Men jag tycker hanna brahim han skulle göra mer nytta om han hade stannat i Aleppo och förstärka moralen hus sina församlings medlemmar, som har stor behov just i denna stund en att åka till Japan och med sina fränder.

  2. Taoro skriver:

    Ja det var väl vad man kunde förvänta sig, inga större konstigheter han trampar ingen på tårna och som när man frågar deltagarna i skönhetstävlingen miss universe vad dom skulle göra om dom hade makten för en dag, så svarar dom att dom skulle se till att det blev fred på jorden och att man ska få slut på världssvälten.

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