News Release

Religious Leaders Opposing War in Syria


National Catholic Reporter states in “Francis chides world leaders on Syria, calls military intervention ‘futile’“: “Francis has declared Saturday a day of ‘fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world.'” The Elders released a statement: “Syria: there is no military solution to the conflict.”

There have been a litany of statements from various Mideastern-based churches against U.S. military intervention in the strongest of terms: Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, President of Caritas (Catholic Aid Agency) in Syria warns that “if there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war.” Syrian Catholic Patriarch Youssef III Younan: “We Syrian Christians, [have been] sold by the West for oil.”

MAIREAD MAGUIRE, mairead.home at
Nobel Peace Laureate Maguire, who has done peace work based in Northern Ireland, recently lead a delegation in Syria. She recently released a statement: “Nobel peace laureate calls for Americans and world citizens to respond to Pope Francis call to fast and pray to stop United States war against Syria.”

Father NABIL HANNA, pastor at
Pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, Hanna was interviewed by the NBC affiliate there: “Let me be clear: we would love for the United States to get involved, but on the side of promoting peace, not on the side of one group versus another. Not on the side of providing arms or direct bombing activities. If we do that we’re just going to be adding fuel to a roaring fire.”

Director of the Office of the Americas, Bonpane served as a Maryknoll priest in Guatemala and has written five books including Guerrillas of Peace: Liberation Theology and the Central American Revolution. He notes that the statements by Pope Francis are unusually direct, talking about a specific country rather than a generalized call for peace.

Rabbi LYNN GOTTLIEB, rabbilynn at
Gottlieb is coordinator of Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peacewalks — which includes Christians, Jews, Muslims and others — and cofounder of Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence.