Rightful Cries to Cease Bloodshed in Syria
Religions for Peace Syria Working Group Urges the Syrian Army Return to Barracks and All Armed Groups to Stop Killing
Cairo, Egypt | 28-29 August 2012
Syrian religious leaders, as members of the Religions for Peace Syria Working Group, met in Cairo on 28-29 August 2012 to address the escalating civil war in Syria and the role of religious collaboration in ending the conflict and building peace.
Under the sponsorship of the Religions for Peace Middle East North Africa Council (MENA), the Religions for Peace Syria Working Group has previously met in Marrakesh, Morocco (November 2011) and Larnaca, Cyprus (February 2012). The Working Group has been building a Syria-wide, representative and action-oriented interreligious council to mobilize the peacemaking roles of the Syrian religious communities during the various stages of the conflict.
The Cairo statement, Rightful Cries to Cease Bloodshed in Syria, rejects the widespread killings and oppressions in Syria and calls upon the Syrian army to return to their barracks and all armed groups of the opposition to stop killing. The statement also called for the release of all political prisoners and abductees and appealed to states and international organizations to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced, refugees and medical treatment for war-injured people.
Religious leaders reiterated their people’s demands for freedom, democracy, justice and equality. They committed themselves to further strengthening the emerging interreligious mechanism in Syria to resist escalating sectarian tensions and to spread a message of peace to achieve national reconciliation.
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General of Religions for Peace International and Interim Secretary General of the Religions for Peace MENA Council, praised the shared courage of the religious leaders, and stated that “cooperation among the religious groups in Syria is an irreplaceable key to a just peace for all Syrians.”
Ms. Valerie Nash
Religions for Peace, 777 United Nations, Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: +1212-687-2163 | Fax: +1 212-983-0098 | www.religionsforpeace.org
“Rightful Cries to Cease Bloodshed in Syria”
Religions for Peace Syria Working Group: Cairo Statement (Original in Arabic)
Cairo, Egypt | 29 August 2012
At the invitation of Religions for Peace MENA Council and based on its previous resolutions of Marrakesh, Morocco (15-16 November 2012) and Larnaca, Cyprus (22-23 February 2012), we—a group of Syrian religious scholars and intellectuals, both Muslims and Christians—conferred in Cairo, Egypt on 28-29 August 2012 to examine the deteriorating situation in Syria. We issue this cry of pain and agony and denounce the killing, violence and violations against our people, their dignity, and property in our beloved Syria.
Ours is a cry against the brutal destruction of our cultural and human heritage and against acts of abduction, extortion, arbitrary arrest and threats.
We call for the following:
1. The cessation of all forms of killings.
2. The army to return to their barracks. All armed manifestations by the opposition groups should be stopped.
3. The release of all political prisoners, prisoners of conscience, abducted persons and prisoners of war.
4. The honoring of the people’s demands for freedom, democracy, justice, equality, right to peaceful demonstrations and the recognition of these as legitimate rights.
5. States and international organizations to provide humanitarian assistance expeditiously and openly and to make the hospitals of the neighboring countries available to receive the injured and wounded.
6. Forming a follow-up committee affiliated to Religions for Peace with the mandate to: a) monitor the factors that threaten the national unity and coexistence among the components of the Syrian society; b) build bridges of cooperation and communication with international organizations and other bodies to achieve the afore-mentioned demands; and c) submit its reports and proposals to the Religions for Peace MENA Secretariat.
7. The further spreading of a message of peace, achieving national reconciliation, discarding grudges, deep-rooting citizenship, maintaining national unity, and emphasizing co-existence among all citizens of Syria. We ask believers worldwide to pray to the Lord to safeguard Syria and restore her security, peace and prosperity on Earth.