Prot. # 65 /2000/D Damascus, April 3, 2002
As Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the Near East and in the whole world, carrying the title of Jerusalem, having lived 26 years in Jerusalem, I feel my imperative duty duty to address this urgent Appeal to the whole world, especially to the heads of government, and also to the religious leaders, Christian, Moslem, Jewish and all believers from the various countries, in order to save peace in the Holy Land.
What is at stake today is more than the Aqka Mosque in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem. It is rather the sacred being, which is man created in the image of God.
This war is a war against Man, who is the true holy place.
The Holy Land cannot be the theater of this murderous war, which is contrary to all human values.
Save the Holy Land! Save the Holiness of the Land! Save the holiness of the man on the earth!
This fierce war will have a consequence a new wave of emigration, especially among Christians. It will create a very serious social and religious disequilibrium in the Holy Land.
All this is very harmful to good neighborhood living, to the dialogue among religions and cultures for the future of the Holy Land.
S.O.S. Save the peace of the world by saving the peace in the Holy Land!
It is time to bring God into the action, the action to save the Man (Christiaan, Moslem or Jew) who is His image, to save the land, the Holy Land, holy for all its inhabitants, who are all Godís children.
+ Gregory III
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem