- Posted September 29, 2013 by
Reggio Emilia, Italy
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- Aung San Suu Kyi visit to Parma,
- The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will be in Parma on octber 31, 2013.
- The writer Abdelwahab Meddeb received the award of the Senate of the Italian Republic.
Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Youhanna Yazigi on the situation and the suffering of Christians in Syria.
The suffering of Christians in Syria was at the heart of a meeting in Vatican that Pope Francis had on Friday with Patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi, head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East.
Today, the Patriarch celebrated in St Peter’s Square by the Pope to mark the Day of Catechists. In his encounter with the Holy Father, the Patriarch spoke about the difficulties facing the Christian community in Syria and the surrounding region. He also talked about the plight of his own brother who was kidnapped last April, together with the Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo. The two leaders also shared their hopes for progress on the journey towards full Christian unity. After their encounter, the Patriarch in an interview with Philippa Hitchen for the Vatican Radio talked about his hopes for an end to the conflict in his country.
On the meeting with the Pope Francis, Youhanna Yazigi said : " We discussed a lot of topics and subjects. And we talked about our progression towards unity, Christian unity as you know, dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. We try, we want to do what we can do, all together – this is the desire of His Holiness, and our desire. And about this political situation, about the presence of Christians in the Middle East. "
The Patriarch, during his interview, expressed his analysis on the situation in Syria and the complex challenges of this historical period. Regarding a possible end to the conflict in Syria, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church of and All the East said : " We hope, and we ask all the governments to help (...) Syria to find a solution through dialogue ". On the kidnapped brother ? " Unfortunately - says Youhanna Yazigi - we hope and we pray, and we try on all levels – with the governments, with different people – to find a solution to this story. We hope, but till now we don’t have unfortunately any official or sure information about our two brothers...".
While regarding the relationships with the Muslims people, the Patriarch said :" we have very good relationships with the Muslim people, in general in all his area. We live together, we have the same history, the same future – we’re like one family, this is the truth. But now we see in our countries a new spirit of extremism from some groups, Islamic groups, and we all refuse that – and the Muslim people, they refuse this extremist Islamic spirit ".
Can the religious leaders help the politics has to find a solution ? To this question, the Patriarch replied : " Absolutely. And we all – the Imams in Syria and Lebanon for example, and the bishops, the priests – we are all together. And we try with our people – with the Christians, with the Muslims – to do what we can do to have a calm life, and peace."