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Syria: Church leaders bring children's call for peace to European leaders
"The more we Christians are united in our defense of children in need, the stronger our voice and the more effective our efforts."
By Eva-Maria Kolmann
NEW YORK— Acting as “Ambassadors of the Children,” three prominent Syrian Church leaders—Patriarch Gregorios III, the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church; Greek Orthodox Metropolitan George Abou Zakhem of Homs; and Syrian Orthodox Bishop Selvanos Boutros Al Nemeh of Homs—are this week visiting EU and UN officials, respectively in Brussels and Geneva.
They are carrying a large volume of drawings made by Syrian school children as a plea for peace in their country. The drawings were formally presented yesterday in the Belgian capital to the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. In Geneva, they will present the children’s messages to the High Commissioner for Refugees, Dr. Filippo Grandi, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Al-Huzain.
The prelates’ mission is the fruit
of the February 2016 joint declaration of Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch
Kirill, which called on Catholic and Orthodox Christians to speak out in unison
in calling for peace in Syria and for support of persecuted Christians.
From left to right in foreground, Bishop Selvanos Boutros Al Nemeh, Metropolitan George Abou Zakhem and Patriarch Gregorios III; © COMECE