Bishop Nazzaro OFM
The Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo, Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro, OFM, has expressed the support of the Church in Syria for the interfaith initiative Mussalaha, that is trying to broker peace between warring factions.
Mgr Nazzaro said he believed Mussalaha should be supported by all and could be a powerful force for good.
The bishop said Mussalaha is emerging as a 'third way' in the Syrian crisis. In an attempt to help quell the ongoing conflict, it focuses on internal dialogue among different political, social and religious components of the Syrian population.
He said: "In my experience in the field, especially for what my Franciscan brothers did in the past, called to intervene in difficult situations, I think 'Mussalaha' should be supported. I totally agree with its spirit, because its main purpose is to save lives."
"Man today, even in the tragic conflict we see in Syria must realize that human life is a gift from God and, as such, must be cherished for God's respect who gave it to man, whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist ".
Fides reports that the movement Mussalaha, is gaining ground in some areas despite the civil war. The grassroots movement is interreligious, transparent and independent. It works to bring warring parties together for negotiations, with the aim of saving lives and promoting reconciliation, unity and brotherhood of the Syrian people. Members includes civil and religious leaders, community leaders, dignitaries and representatives of professions. Recently one Mussalaha committee organised the rescue of more than 60 civilians, mostly Christians, that were trapped in the bombed city of Homs. The evacuation of civilians was possible thanks to a bilateral agreement between government forces besieging the city, and factions of the armed revolutionaries.