In questo anno e mezzo di rivolta popolare in Siria gli orientamenti delle gerarchie ecclesiastiche si sono assestati su posizioni difformi: talora prudenti, altre volte schierate apertamente. Michel Kilo, intellettuale cristiano siriano, più volte arrestato, ha denunciato per esempio il comportamento di un vescovo di una chiesa di Damasco che ha addirittura convocato i servizi di sicurezza nella sua chiesa per consegnare dei giovani che avevano protestato contro la sua parzialità a favore del regime.
Un gruppo di intellettuali cristiani siriani – che non rivelano i loro nomi per timore di ritorsioni – lancia adesso un appello rivolto direttamente a Papa Benedetto XVI che il mese prossimo sarà in visita apostolica in Libano, praticamente a meno di due ore di macchina da Damasco.
I firmatari chiedono al Santo Padre di definire in modo chiaro e inequivocabile la sua posizione perché “le nostre chiese non sanno più interpretarla”.
E aggiungono: “Si chieda ad Assad e al suo regime di andar via, oppure l’Occidente dovrà prepararsi ad accogliere 20 milioni di rifugiati siriani e lasceremo Assad e i suoi soldati e mercenari (shabbiha) in Siria. [...] Ci aspettiamo che ci salviate non soltanto come cristiani, ma come siriani e tutti noi abbiamo fiducia nella Sua saggezza divina”.
Proponiamo di seguito il testo dell’appello nella sua traduzione inglese. Per le versioni in arabo e in italiano e per aderire all’appello, rimandiamo a questo link.
In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit Amen
Your Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
We are a group of [Syrian] Christian intellectuals loyal to our Lord Jesus Christ and the teachings of our Church. And we know well, away from any personal benefit, the nature of the Syrian people and the truth of their revolution.
Syria has contributed to humanity during all of its prosperous periods and has spread love and good. On its land the Lord Jesus walked and the Apostle Paul launched his message. Its archeology speaks for the depth of Syria’s spirituality and contribution to humanity.
We believe that our mission as Christians in this world is to send a message of light and peace as the Lord said in the Gospel of Matthew: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”.
In the fifties of the last century, Syria was on the road to a credible democracy, until a group of mercenaries, Arab nationalist fanatics came to power to ravish that democracy and violate Syria with all its cultural and humanitarian stock, turning it into a kingdom of fear and silence. Our Churches and their leaders did not escape these transformations and unfortunately their silence has converted them to partners in the crime of tyranny and arbitrariness.
Those who stood up and resisted this regime were either killed, tortured, intimidated or displaced.
For 16 months this regime has been preying on and violating the dignities and sanctities of the Syrian people without any mercy or pity. The crimes committed by the regime are unprecedented in history.
This is our situation now: we either sacrifice the Syrian people so Assad remains … or we sacrifice Assad and the Syrian people remain. The Syrian people now are being crucified at the hands of its regime. Furthermore, the regime is fueling the sedition between the components of society and attempting to use [the protection of] Christians as a cover to justify its false existence.
What is happening to our youth on the ground is actually the embodiment of the limitless love of our God, as “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.
We need from your Holiness a clear position, a position that our Churches have failed to express. Either ask Assad and his regime to leave … Or the West should be prepared to receive 20 million Syrian refugees and let Assad, his soldiers and mercenaries (Shabbiha) stay in Syria.
The departure of Assad and his regime is not only good for Syria, but for all of humanity, because this regime and its Iranian ally are the head of terrorism all over the world. They are complicit in the spread of terrorism all over the world.
We expect from your Holiness to save us not as Christians but as Syrians and we all have full confidence in your divine wisdom.
That is why we turn to you in behalf of all those we represent in this country where our Lord Jesus walked, to take decisions that raise the light high and bright as a guide, a light for people of the East, Christians and Muslims.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus be with you and us and save Syria from its evils so it can resume its humanitarian role in the world.
PS. We cannot collect signatures with real names, since that would mean certain death for the signatories. However, we have posted this appeal for signature on the link below: