Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church: Russians will continue supporting Syria
A ceremonial Mass was held on Sunday at the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus on the occasion of the visit of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Syria.
Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim of Antioch and All the East presided over the mass.
Patriarch Kirill said that Russia stands by Syria in defending the right, adding that “the Syrian people who are going through hard times will emerge from the crisis victorious and will then determine what they want by themselves.”
Patriarch Kirill wished the Syrians success in building the modern Syria that is open to all, saying that “Syria is the country we have always known where religious freedom is respected and the citizens are living in permanent peace and amity.”
“This land and the deep-rooted civilization [Syria] lived is the base on which it will come triumphant out of the crisis,” the Patriarch added.
He called upon the Syrian people to go for dialogue to overcome the current situation and realize a bright future through the peaceful way, considering dialogue is the way to solve all issues.
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia said the Russian people share amity and respect with the people of Syria as the first Christian fathers who came from Syria carried the Christianity to Russia, wishing welfare and peace to prevail in Syria.
Patriarch Hazim said the visit of Patriarch Kirill to Syria carries big and strong meanings and was planned at this time in expression of solidarity with the people of Syria and loyalty to its good land.
Patriarch Hazim thanked Russia and its people for their standing by Syria and the just causes.
Patriarch Kirill I: Syria a Model of Coexistence between Christians and Muslims
Later, during a meeting with with Minister of Endowments (Awkaf) Dr. Mohammad Abdelsattar al-Sayyed and Grand Mufti of the Republic Dr. Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Patriarch Kirill I said that Syria is a model for coexistence between Christians and Muslims with its atmosphere of peace and tolerance and an absence of conflict of disputes and its respect for the rights of religious minorities.
Patriarch Kirill I said that he usually follows events in the Middle East and North Africa with concern due to the fact that Christians suffer severe harassment in several countries in the se regions, but the coexistence in Syria is an achievement for its Muslims and Christians alike.
He pointed out that developing relations among Muslims in Syria and Russia can be an important factor in creating harmony among religions across the world, calling for focusing on religious education to prevent extremism.
For his part, Minister al-Sayyed lauded Russia’s stance in support of Syria which is being targeted due to its coexistence and national unity.
In turn, Hassoun noted that Christianity spread across the world from Syria, stressing the importance of immunizing future generations from extremism and affirming that what Syria is facing aims to dissuade it from its principles and its support for just Arab causes, primarily the Palestinian cause.