ISIS and other extremist
movements across the Middle East are enslaving, killing and uprooting ancient
Christian communities, with practically no end in sight until the last
communities are extinguished. The Western governments have been paralyzed,
dealing with other issues on their doorstep like the massive refugee crisis,
the growing conflict between Russia and Turkey and domestic terror threats like
the recent Paris attacks.
There hasn’t been much said
or expected of governments up to now but the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of
Chicago has taken a stand, asking for the United Nations to recognize the
events as an official genocide of the Christian population of the Middle East.
The Metropolis of Chicago,
which covers almost 60 parishes throughout the Midwest and claims over a
quarter of a million faithful, held it’s Biannual Clergy Laity Assembly in
Madison, Wisconsin, from November 14th – 18th.
Led by Metropolitan Iakovos
and Bishop Demetrios, approximately 400 clergy and parishioners from parishes
throughout the region gathered to hear from a wide range of speakers addressing
numerous subjects of interest to Greek Orthodox Christian followers.
One such speaker
was Bassel Korkor, a Syrian American attorney who serves as United
States Counsel to the Syrian Coalition’s Washington and United Nations offices.
He advises the Coalition on various legal and policy issues, including
sanctions compliance, economic development, and diplomatic matters.
His presentation entitled
“Contemporary Martyrs of the Middle East” educated the gathering as to the
current conditions in Syria and throughout the Middle East, especially
concerning the status of the significant and diverse historical Christian
Following Mr. Korkor’s
presentation, looking for a way to bring assistance in the protection of the
Christian population of the Middle East currently subject to numerous
documented examples of Ethic Cleansing and Genocide, a proposal for the need
for action by the Clergy Laity Assembly was introduced by Father Mark Munoz of
The result was the
following Resolution, written by Metropolis of Chicago Council Member John C.
Ackerman of Peoria, Illinois, and edited by Father David Bissias of Hammond,
Indiana and Bishop Demetrios.
This Resolution received
unanimous support and will soon be mailed to the President of the United States
as well as each and every United States Senator and Representative within the
jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Chicago.
“It is the hope of the
assembly that other Metropolises as well as other Orthodox denominations and
other Catholic and Protestant Christian denominations will consider sending
similar resolutions to their United States National Leadership,” said Bishop
Demetrios, who is also chancellor of the Metropolis, adding that “Together
we can bring about positive change to help protect Christians throughout the
Middle East and bring an end to this destructive bloody conflict.”
Resolution Calling on
United States Political Leadership to Officially Recognize the conflict in
Syria and throughout the Middle East as a Genocide, and thus Initiate the
United Nations Resolution called Responsibility to Protect.
Whereas, Since the end of the
Second World War, an international effort has been undertaken to protect
civilians in armed conflict and prevent genocide, crimes against humanity, and
And Whereas, Recognizing
the failure to adequately respond to the most heinous crimes known to
humankind, world leaders made a historic commitment to protect populations from
genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity at the
United Nations 2005 World Summit,
And Whereas, This
commitment, entitled the Responsibility to Protect, stipulates that:
1. The State carries
the primary responsibility for the protection of populations from
genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing
2. The international
community has a responsibility to assist States in fulfilling this
3. The international
community should use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other
peaceful means to protect populations from these crimes. If a State fails
to protect its populations or is in fact the perpetrator of crimes, the
international community must be prepared to take stronger measures through the
United Nations Security Council,
And Whereas, We of the
Greek Orthodox Christian Faith have been subject to past Genocide, War Crimes,
Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity,
And Whereas, Greek Orthodox
Faithful have repeatedly throughout history made historic stands in response to
these atrocities both before the international community’s efforts following
World War II and since,
And Whereas, The current
conflict was originally confined to Syria but is now enveloping Iraq, and much
of the Middle East has been engulfed for far too long in endless bloody
And Whereas, The
international community has seen numerous examples of War Crimes, numerous
examples of Ethnic Cleansing, far too many examples of Genocide against
And Whereas, Just earlier
this year in a barbaric, visual display, 21 men were executed for no other
reason than being Christians, an incident that is itself the very definition of
Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide,
And Whereas, Despite
signing to support the principles of Responsibility to Protect, our United
States Elected Leadership has yet to officially enact this important
Therefore Be It Resolved…
That we by this gathering of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago 2015
Clergy Laity Assembly representing all of the faithful within the states
of Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota as well as large parts of Indiana
and Missouri, that we call on our President, Senators and Congressman to take
the steps required to officially enact the United Nations Resolution entitled
Responsibility to Protect.
Eν κατακλείδι, παρακαλώ με ταπείνωση, Πατέρες και αδελφοί, να βοηθήσετε και εμένα τον αμαρτωλὸ και αδιάφορο για την σωτηρία μου, με την προσευχή σας…και έτσι να ξυπνήσω απο την αναισθησία μου και να καλώ το όνομα του Κυρίου μας για βοήθειά μου. Αμήν. (Ιερομ. Κλεόπας Ηλίε, Ρουμάνος)......
Υπενθυμίζουμε ότι όλη η προσπάθεια γίνεται προς ''δόξαν Θεού'' και χωρίς κάποιο όφελος. Εάν, δίχως την πρόθεσή μας θίγουμε πνευματικά δικαιώματα, παρακαλούμε για την ενημέρωσή μας.
Είς δόξαν του έν Τριάδι Θεού και της Υπεραγίας Δεσποίνης ημών Θεοτόκου. Είς κοινήν απάντων των Ορθοδόξων ωφέλειαν.