‘We are the voice of righteousness in all this chaos at Easter’

April 15, 2017

PASTORAL CARE: Syriac Catholic Bishop Jano Battah: “We are accused of being ‘pro-regime’. No, we are with the legitimate state and the national army. As clergyman, we are with our people. They know us and we know their needs. We didn’t abandon our people and flee during the crisis.”

MEDIA ADVICE: ‘We don’t intervene in your political affairs and you have no right to intervene in our internal affairs. I have studied law, this is international law.”

 

PUBLIC BACKING: “If the Syrian people aren’t for Bashar-al Assad, he would not survive for a month. The Syrian people supported Assad that is why he has survived all this time. He is not an Alawite, he is 100% Syrian. You have no right to say you want my president or not! I choose my president.”

               

               

A SYRIAN bishop has gone to great lengths to tell Western media and leaders about who speaks for him, his parishioners and countryman.

This comes in the wake of the chemical attack on children in the Northern city of Idlib which President Bashar al Assad and others such as the former ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, and former US presidential candidate Rand Paul condemned it as being based on a flurry of lies.

Bishop Jano Battah was speaking to the Berlin-based Syrian artist and political activist Hanin Elias on the You Tube channel Syriana Analysis that was put on-line on Wednesday 12 April and the full interview can be found here.

With Syria in the public’s focus of attention this Easter, the Christian celebration many are observing this weekend, it says in the New Testament, that anyone who professes the Christian faith is commanded to tell the truth, so the bishop quoted here would have a lot to lose by lying.

In a wide-ranging interview Bishop Jano says the Assad regime has defended all Syrians and that Western media and politicians have no right to intervene in the affairs of another state and tell them who their president should be.

The bishop claims diplomatic channels were “closed in the Syrians’ faces” and western media and politicians did “not want to listen to the voices of the Syrian people.”

The bishop said: “The (Western) world is speaking in the name of the Syrian people but no one wants to listen to them. So, we are the voice of righteousness in the middle of this chaos. My evaluation of this situation is that it is a global war on Syria, a war of aggression and a war of destruction.

In a clear dig at those calling for the removal of President Assad through “regime change”, he accused many of them of being unreflective of democracies in their own countries.

Bishop Jano said:  “We are accused of being ‘pro-regime’. No, we are with the legitimate state and the national army.

“As clergyman, we are with our people. They know us and we know their needs. We didn’t abandon our people and flee during the crisis. Talking is easy, but when someone assaults you, we have the right to defend ourselves.

“We don’t intervene in your political affairs and you have no right to intervene in our internal affairs. I have studied law, this is international law. You have no right to say you want my president or not! I choose my president

“I’ve lived in Europe and I haven’t seen any democracy there. The Italian people were against the war in Iraq, so why did the Italian army invade Iraq.

“I have studied law, this is international law. You have no right to say you want my president or not! I choose my president.

In a clear message to the Catholic Church hierarchy, other churches and non-government organisations (NGOs) over their response as to who was responsible for the chemical incident in Idlib, he told them what he expected from in terms of practical help for the Christians in Syria.

The bishop continued: “If the Syrian people aren’t for Bashar-al Assad, he would not survive for a month. The Syrian people supported Assad that is why he has survived all this time. He is not an Alawite, he is 100% Syrian. He serves all the Syrians – not only the Alawites as some people claim.

“If the West want to help us, let them help us stay in the Syria and the Middle East. Muslims need the Christians to stay and we will stay. No one can force us to leave – our roots are in this land. We leave when we decide to leave and we chose to stay. In my opinion these donors should come to Syria to see who is helping Syrian people. No one is helping us except God.”

  • ANYONE reading this who is not particularly religious, may not know that the 47 Copt Egyptians who were killed by ISIS on Palm Sunday services, the date that represents the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and their killers would have known this date was important in the Christian calendar as part of the preparations for Easter.
  • MAY I wish all regular followers of this blog a Happy Easter.

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