In his letter sent to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Beatitude Patriarch John X of the Great Antioch and All the East expressed his gratitude to the Russian Orthodox Church for the assistance that it gives to the people affected by the war in Syria.
The letter reads, in particular, “Remembering the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot forget or ignore the sacrifices of the great Russian nation and Russian Church, alongside the sacrifices of the Antiochian Church and her faithful on the Syrian ground. All these sacrifices have taken place, in order to save Syria and to preserve the honor and dignity of its citizens in this historical and holy part of the world; a place that has been witnessing for Christ for more than 2000 years.”
“First and foremost, I want to take this opportunity to thank You for the provided support by the Russian Church to the Church of Antioch and for all Syrians for the past seven years,” His Beatitude Patriarch John continues, “We are grateful for the several delegations You have sent to our homeland with different kind of assistance.”
His Beatitude mentioned the unprecedented humanitarian campaign, organized and carried out in February 2018 by the Interreligious Working Group of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations of the President of the Russian Federation with the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church. “I want you to know that our Church will not fail to honor this act; I affirm, with special satisfaction, the effective manner of the joint efforts,” Patriarch John says in his letter.
Having noted with gratitude the willingness of the Russian Church to support a number of projects of the Patriarchate of Antioch aimed at rendering aid to the citizens of Syria affected by the war and at helping refugees return to their homeland, His Beatitude told about the plans of the Church of Antioch to restore churches and “rehabilitate” dwellings of the parishioners who had lost their homes.
“I will of course attach the greatest value to your views at any time, and hope therefore, that the tradition of frequent and confidential communications between both our Churches will be continued on ideals and principles that remain of high value, since our bonds are deeply rooted in history,” the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch says in his letter addressed to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.