A message on the Resurrection Day
To our brothers, the shepherds of the church of Christ in the East, and to the children of Antioch, wherever you are, and to every soul that believes in “Resurrection”.
Christ is risen . Indeed he is.
With this holy expression, we convey to you the most beautiful tiding:”the resurrection of the Lord from the dead”.
Dear spiritual children, whose power in the Lord , strengthens us, and whose hope, moulds the strength of our souls.
We address you in the risen Lord, who has saved his creation .We address you as the bells of our churches ring singing the song of “Resurrection”.
We have chosen, the message, this year, to be read in all the churches of Antioch, in order to assure to all the Christians in our home-land, that we are one, despite their being weighed down amidst the calamity that cannot silence in them the power of hope, and the rigidity of stability, and consistency, On the land of the ancestors(Syria).
With these words, we congratulate you in this occasion ,and call on all of you, to pray today, for the peace and security of the whole world, especially for our beloved East. We also assure you that we are all one in suffering and pain, and doing best to reduce them.
This East is the core of our identity .And Protecting its Christian yeast, with the social property which is multi- religious , under the human cover ,is the yardstick of the international credibility Towards this part of the world ,and towards all the inhabitants Of our homeland .Peace and Security of the East is the touchstone of human conscience in comparison to state materialistic interests .Our People, here, have had enough killing, and displacement ;they are weighed down and over-burdened ,because of suffering .They have been terrified bitterly ,Under Organized Terror ,in this East.
Palestine has been raped and the whole world is blind not desiring to see its just cause .In Syria We have had many wounds .And the wounds have been bleeding for five consecutive years .We do not want anymore importing of extremist ideologies.
-Lebanon is on the fire of regional calculations and interests. He is suffering from constitutional Vaccum .
-Egypt is on a blazing fire that comes from different conflicts and problems.
-Iraq is being exposed to destruction, and its minorities, -of different denominations-, are being subject to displacement amidst the international cold-heartedness and indifference.
Our Easter is an opportunity to contemplate on, and look deep into, all that is happening around us .It is a chance to preach the truth in the face of false-hood ,and lying; it is a chance to say the truth unhesitatingly .We do not see that what has been called “the Arabic spring, or the Spring of the Arabs” to be a flourishing spring blossoming with buds on the green meadows. It has rather turned into bloody conflict crushing its flowers.
Eastern Christendom, despite its moderate voices, has been paying a very great price to blind terrorists, and to misuse of religion, with deviation of slogans or mottos, besides, bitter humiliation, the fact that many sovereign countries ,besides our Muslem brethren themselves, Have been bitten by it, and are suffering because of it . This high price has been manifested in killing, displacement, kidnapping and the like, in a way that has not spared the smallest nook in the East.0ur question for today, is raised before the whole world:
Where are our kidnapped bishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim Who have been encaptivated for more than two years(April 2013)?Where is the whole world ?Where are the governments, the international organizations with regard to the two kidnapped bishops , and all the others who have been kidnapped t00?
From here ,and on this day, we raise our voice highly, demanding their release, and calling on, for collective efforts that assure and guarantee our rights in the land we live on .We reject displacement, even emigration itself , despite the fact we understand some reasons that call for it .We urge everybody here to persist in
staying at home with patience, and to hold tight to the rope of hope and faith, submitting willingly to the divine Providence .We reject terrorism, and insist on working as one hand, to implement peace in the region, aiming at putting an end to the international inter-attraction in favor of the Eastern people.
The children of the East are called to live in peace, and to maintain the Christian presence , and the active role they are expected to play, because we are the core of the history of the East and we stand firm in the heart of its issues and causes.
We are not today’ s visitors ,nor guests of moments, or the residue of any campaign .we are as old as the history of the region .From its Euphrates ,Tigris .and Orontes we have been drinking the eternity of our yearning and longing to the soil.
In Antioch, we Put on the name “Christians”, for the first time in history. We have been nailed on the cross of our lord’s love .And in the lowland of his History, we buried every trouble and distress of ours. And with our Muslem brethren, and all others who love God, we have sailed in the seas of his peace .And on the Golgotha of his pain and suffering we walked to follow him. And towards the laurel of his Victory, and the crown of his visions, we aspired and are still aspiring, voluntarily. And in the firm hope of the lord, the creator who planted us here’ in full brotherhood with others, we continue as spiritual leaders adhering tightly to the role entrusted to us towards our children , besides, the splendid future of our homeland .
With these hopes that stem from the Resurrection of the Lord, we have chosen to address you today, from Damascus, whole-heartedly, on this glorious and Holy Day, the day of passing from death to life, from slavery to freedom, from Disgrace to dignity ,and finally from war to peace .singing for the peace of all the East , and for that of the whole creation.
Christ is risen from the dead, trampled death by death, and has granted life to those in the tombs
Patriarch John the X
Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem the second
And Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham