Joint Appeal by Religious Leaders
Media Release by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan: signed by leading representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
AMMAN, 24 July 2014 – In a media release by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, a tireless peace advocate in the Middle East, religious leaders appeal against acts of violence in the name of religion. This statement especially concerns the terrible events in Mosul, Iraq, and reminds the religious communities of their fundamental duty to prevent the abuse of religion in order to justify acts of violence. The appeal was signed by leading representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
In recent days, we have read with horror about Christians being asked to leave the town of Mosul within twenty-four hours. We have also heard about the desecration of Christian holy spaces and their symbols – the bombing of churches and a cross being removed from St. Ephrem’s Cathedral, the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archdiocese in Mosul.
These actions are an appalling blot on the proud tradition of pluralism in a region which has been home to Chaldeans, Assyrians and other Churches of the East for more than 1,700 years. Indeed the destruction caused by the violence has engulfed all of the diverse populations that make up Iraq – the Turkmens, the Yazidis, the Sunnis and Shias, Kurds and tens upon thousands of Arab families who have been uprooted from the region in fear of their lives. These horrors continue to unfold on a daily basis and follow a brutal period of fighting in Syria. Today, the United Nations estimates that one out of every three Syrians is in need of urgent humanitarian aid. We cannot stand by and watch idly, as the lives of the most vulnerable, our women and our children are destroyed in the name of religion.