Christians have been an integral part of Syria’s civilization, Assad tells Catholic patriarch

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    Christians in Syria “have never been foreigners”, but they have helped to build the Syrian civilization by bringing its message to the whole world, side by side with their “Muslim brothers”. This was underlined by Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who on Thursday 4 July participated in a meeting with Syrian-Catholic boys and girls, in the framework of the “summer camp” currently underway at the monastery of Mar Tuma (St. Thomas), in Saidnaya. Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, who was also present at the dialogue session with Syrian President, is also taking part in the summer camp for young Syrian Christians, entitled “My hope is in you.

    In dialogue with young people, among other things, Assad repeated that the stable presence and the original contribution of the Christian communities in Syria is a necessary factor to enrich Syrian society and the plurality of its components. Christians in Syria – said Assad, according to official media close to the government – have been and continue to be builders of civilization and humanity alongside their Muslim brothers, and with their patriotism and moderation they have contributed to the failure of neo-colonial projects implemented by hostile forces that sponsored terrorism to dismember the nation.

    The identity of the Syrian nation – added Assad – enhances the harmonious plurality as a treasure to be preserved through coexistence and permanent integration between the various components, and escapes the pattern of the opposition between “majorities and minorities” that western environments want to impose as a key to understanding the condition of the indigenous Middle Eastern Christian communities. The Arab civilization – the Syrian head of state added – is not an “ethnic” category, and does not aim to erase the different historical identities, but aims to preserve them, while the fanaticisms that also affect Christians”, presenting them as a “foreign body” to the Arab world, in reality aim to redesign the entire Middle East according to sectarian criteria.

    In the dialogue with Assad, the boys and girls asked questions about the many problems left to Syria by the long and devastating conflict, and they presented proposals on the contribution that they themselves can offer to rebuild the Country.