(Vatican Radio) Pax Christi International has issued an appeal to political and religious
authorities worldwide, to support the promotion of peace through dialogue and negotiation
The statement recognises that "many states have helped fuel the
armed conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the region", and calls for an embargo
to "stop the flow of arms to both sides and to all militant groups". A strong effort
must be made, it says, to bring all stakeholders to the negotiating table, in order
to end to the "horrific violence".
The statement calls on Pope Francis to join
with other religious leaders in assembling a "peace force of faith" to support Syrians
"through this time of great danger and suffering". It urges all religious leaders
to speak out , and on all religious leaders to speak out in support of a political
solution to the armed conflict.
Read the full statement below.
Christi International is deeply concerned about the latest events in Syria.
we unequivocally condemn the use of chemical weapons, regardless of who perpetrated
the attack, Pax Christi pleads with the nations of the world to recognize the responsibility
and authority of the UN Security Council to address this egregious violation of international
law and morality and to work with the United Nations to protect - without escalating
the violence - the Syrian people. This should be done through urgent diplomatic efforts
to stop immediately the flow of arms to both sides and to all militant groups and
to bring all stakeholders in the conflict to the negotiating table. Many states have
helped fuel the armed conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the region; now it is
time for the international community to cooperate fully on an arms embargo and to
unequivocally back dialogue, which alone can end the horrific violence.
part of the political solution, serious consideration should be given to deploying
an unarmed or minimally armed multinational police force to Syria, to begin to secure
zones of non-violence in support of Syrians committed to peace. We also invite Pope
Francis to join with Christian, Muslim, and other faith leaders from around the world
and from all traditions, to assemble a peace force of faith and send it to accompany
the Syrian people through this time of great danger and suffering.
urgently calls religious leaders - regardless of the specific community to which they
belong - to use their moral authority to speak clearly and with urgency in private
and in public for an end to violence; to strongly call for a political solution to
the armed conflict; to support the creation of zones of non-violence; and to promote
active campaigns of prayer, non-cooperation and public witness for an immediate end
to the violence in Syria.
Pax Christi International also expresses its deepest
solidarity with the people of Syria. We pray for all who remain in Syria, for those
who have fled the country, for all who have lost loved ones, for all who live in terrible
fear for the future and, in a special way, for those courageous peacemakers who have
resisted violence and who have tried to work for positive change in non-violent ways.