2019-02-04 18:32:00

Global Christian parliamentary forum may be held in Syria this year

Moscow, February 4, Interfax - Patriarch John X of Antioch has supported a proposal of Russian MPs to hold a global Christian parliamentary forum in Syria in 2019, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Development of Civil Society and President of the Interparliamentary Orthodox Assembly Sergey Gavrilov said.

"We discussed the issue of holding a global Christian parliamentary forum in Syria," Gavrilov told Interfax on Monday.

The patriarch "actively supported and welcomed" this proposal, he said.

"We will invite everybody in the Orthodox Christian tradition who really thinks about protecting human rights, protecting the freedom of faith, and preserving cultural values to this forum," he said.

Last week's events marking the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia were attended by "many representatives of European countries, and many of them preliminarily agreed to attend this forum," he said.

There are plans to hold the forum this year, Gavrilov said.

"I hope that this forum will be an emphatically anti-war one," he said.

"I believe that today, the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and his church, which has experienced the severest sufferings and troubles in this life, enjoys authority. What's more, he saw how the attitude to the Antioch Church changed when the enemy was standing at the gates of Damascus and there were a lot of people who wanted dioceses to break away from it, including Qatar, Lebanon, and others," Gavrilov said.