The world is deeply disturbed by the violence and bloodshed suffered by the people of Syria.
We urge a peaceful, political solution to the crisis in Syria without military intervention.
We call for further clarification in regard to the chemical attack on 21 August in Damascus, for without more information and proof we cannot determine who was responsible for this attack.
We support the grass-roots Reconciliation (Mussalaha) Movement in Syria, which unites people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
We urge governments and the media to listen to the voices of all Syrians, particularly those who are working for a peaceful solution and who reject violence.
We echo Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, and other religious leaders in calling everyone to pray for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the whole world.
As politicians in Australia debate whether to support the stand of President Obama on Syria, we draw attention to a comment by the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo, the President of Caritas (Catholic Aid Agency) in Syria: “If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war.”
5 September 2013
Archbishop Denis Hart, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne
Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser, AC CH (Former Prime Minister of Australia)
Sheikh Riad Galil OAM, Imam- West Heidelberg Mosque, President: Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia
His Grace, Bishop Suriel, Coptic Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions
Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (Melbourne)
Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba, Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Primate of Australia, New Zealand
Rev. Harry Kerr, Pax Christi (Victoria)
Mr Frank Stuart, President, Victorian Council of Churches
Rev. Ian Smith, Executive Officer, Victorian Council of Churches
Rev. Graham McAnalley, Chairman, Council of Christians & Jews (Vic)
Most Rev. Hilton Deakin, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Ms Peggy Page, Chair of Buddhist Council of Victoria
Rev. Tara Curlewis, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia
Most Rev. Peter J. Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Archdeacon Emeritus Philip Newman (Chaplain, Hume Anglican Grammar)
Father Brian Nichols, St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart
Peter Abrehart, Chairman, Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church
Rev. Dr Philip Marshall, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Adelaide
Sr Janet Mead RSM, Romero Community, Adelaide
Julian Burnside AO QC
Bryan Dawe, Political Satirist
Phil Glendenning, Director Edmund Rice Centre, President Refugee Council of Australia
Antony Loewenstein, independent journalist and author
Dr Fiona Hill, Almanar Consultancy, AMRIS
Joseph Wakim, OAM, Founder of Australian Arabic Council
Claire Woods, Chair, Fitzroy Learning Network
Dr Jeremy Salt, Bilkent University, Turkey
Robert Bekhazi, Federal president – United Australian Lebanese Movement
Bishop Philip Huggins, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Bronwyn Halfpenny Victorian MP Thomastown District
Felicity Costigan, CEO Mary Ward International Australia
Sandra Diafas, Principal, Star of the Sea College Gardenvale
Mr. Medhat Attia Director of the Australian Coptic Movement Association
Rev. David B. Smith, Parish Priest, Holy Trinity Dulwich Hill
Ms Susan Dirgham, National Coordinator of AMRIS
Syrian-born patriarch: ‘Enough with the intervention’ Syrian-born Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham warned against armed intervention in his country, saying, “It has brought us to the tragedy we are now living in Syria.”
Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch