OPF Statement Opposing Military Action Against Syria

Orthodox Christian Statement Opposing Military Action Against Syria

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, oh God! Psalm 51:14

Dear members and friends of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and all Orthodox Christians:

On August 21, 2013, a robust chemical weapons attack took place in Damascus, Syria, which US intelligence alleges was carried out by the Bashar Assad government and which killed over 1400 civilians.

On August 30, 2013, President Obama asked the United States Congress to approve a limited, punitive military assault against Syria and the government of President Bashar Assad.

On September 3rd, President Obama declared that his goal is to degrade the Assad regime’s capabilities and to upgrade those of the opposition forces to help “set Syria free,” signaling escalatory intentions even before the first missile is launched and his readiness to interfere in the outcome of the civil war.

We agree that any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and unreservedly condemn their use. However, while many pragmatic arguments against the contemplated military response are circulating, we ground our opposition to a military response, unilaterally or together with one or more international partners, on moral grounds consistent with Orthodox nonviolent, justifiable war, and pacifist traditions.

We urge you to consider our appeal alongside the unprecedented emerging coalition of Orthodox, Catholic, and other Christian jurisdictions and organizations calling on their faithful to oppose the contemplated US military action.

We urge our American members to contact your elected representatives in the House and Senate and ask them to vote no on any resolution authorizing such action, limited or otherwise.

We urge you to contact President Obama and urge him not to attack Syria.

We ask you to lend your signature to this statement [use the form at the bottom of this page] adding your voice to our plea.

Note: If you disagree or do not feel you already have sufficient grounds for opposing the contemplated military attack, or if you simply want more information, please visit our website for a narrative foundation for our appeal, supporting material, an appended bibliography, and related resources: www.incommunion.org.

Thank you,

Jim Forest, Orthodox Peace Fellowship International Secretary
Alexander Patico, OPF North American Secretary
Pieter Dykhorst, OPF editor of In Communion
Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster, Chaplain (Colonel) USAR (Ret.)
Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia
Bishop Dimitrios Couchell of Xanthos, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Dn. Michael Bakker, President, Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Hanna Bos, MD, Vice President, Orthodox Peace Fellowship
Colin Justin Grimmond, OPF Greater Toronto Area Chapter
Archpriest Gregory Mathewes-Green, Pastor Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church, Linthicum, MD
Frederica Mathewes-Green, author
Mother Raphaela Wilkinson, abbess, Holy Myrrbearera Monastery, Otego, NY
Fr. Elijah Mueller, St. Makarios Orthodox Church, Hyde Park, Chicago, IL
Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Pastor, All Saints Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL
Fr. John D. Jones, Orthodox Christian Chaplain, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Catherine Jefferson
Kevin Lawrence
Dianne Boardman
Fr. Jacques-Jude Lepine
Monk James Silver, Orthodox Church in America
Fr. Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham
David Damiano
Sheri San Chirico
William Gall
Monica Klepac
Fr Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus, St Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary
Eric Simpson
David Paddison
Dn. Stephen Hayes
Stephen Borthwick
Fr. Stephen Tsichlis, pastor St Paul's Orthodox Church in Irvine, CA
Prof. Alfred Kentigern Siewers
James Chater
Carol LeMasters
Nancy Forest
John Oliver
Aaron W. Haney, MD
Alexander Lisenko
Archpriest Theodore van der Voort
Captain Anthony Carr
Chelsea Greeson
Christian Curling
Daniel Greeson
David Paddison
David Twombly
David-Constantine Wright
Debbie Jaynes
Debbie Jaynes
Dennis Justison
Dorothy Allen
Dr. Andrew P. Klager
Dr. Kimberly Franklin
Dr. Maria McDowell
Dr. Mark W. Flory
Fr. Danial Doss
Fr. James Blomeley
Fr. John Breck
Fr. Philip LeMasters
Gebre Menfes Kidus
Herman Garrison
James Lange
Joana Tasi
Kevin Basil Fritts
Kim Peterson
Leena Yrjölä
Leke Tasi
Macrina Walker
Marcia Partin
Mark Roosien
Meagan Klassen
Morgan Locke
Nicholas Esterhuzien
Nicolas Kamas
Nun Sophia Zion
Pamela Markovic
Patricia Ann Abraham
Panayiota McFeely
Paul del Junco
Rev. Prof. Rico Monge
Samuel Noble
Seraphim Fimmel
Sgt David Commini
Stephanie Turner
Subdeacon Barnabas Neufeld
Teena H. Blackburn
Thomas Keith Snowdon
Valerie Holcombe
Zaven Peter Tokatlian
William Gall
Fr. Ted Bobosh
Chris Banescu, Esq.
Kenneth Hines
Rev Fr. John Mefrige, St Ephraim Orthodox Church, San Antonio,TX
Paula Mourad
Samuel Chambers
Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse
Barbara Harrison
Jonathan Reavis
V Rev. James Ellison
William J. Gall
Michael T Bassett
Leslee Abud
Kevin May
V. Rev. Fr. Peter-Micha
Fr Matthew Thurmanel Preble, Pastor, St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church, Chagrin Falls, OH
Richard C. Irvine II
Mary McConnell
Vitaly Permiakov, Instructor, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY
John Costas
J.R. Jones
Alexander Treiger
Cindy Skillman
Geoffrey Deacon
Fr Aidan Kimel
Katia Shtefan
Nicholas Martin
Mary Danakas
Kh. Rebecca Alford
Mark Northey
Fr John Wehling
Kira Mihailitchenko
Matthew J. Baker
Dn. Timothy Wilkinson
Josh Smith
John S Butcher, Reader
Carol Vien
Rev. Justin Patterson, Pastor, St. Athanasius Orthodox Church, Nicholasville, KY
Timothy Fetzko
Rochelle Brusett
Lea Osgood
Basil Peck
Monk John (Romanzov), Monastery of St. John of Shanghai
Desia Joseph
Collin Cornette
Charles E. Hughes, Vietnam Veteran
Maurice Chen
Paul Tadros
Jack Chandler
Diane Danzig
Ivan Danzig
Peter Evans
Helen Evans
Fr. Christopher Foley, Holy Cross Orthodox Church, High Point, NC
VRev Fr Marcus C Burch, St John of the Ladder Orthodox Church, Greenville, SC
Fr. Theodore Pulcini
Fr John Reeves, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, State College, PA
Fr. Jonathan H. Cholcher
Fr. Jason Kappanadze, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Elmira Hts, NY
V. Rev. Dr. Mark Hodges
Fr. Paul Hunter
Vladimir Marjanovic, President NGO "Serbian Christian Democratic Movement"
Jan Kripac
Mirjana Cvijanovic
Nikola Nešković
Margo N. Toscas Kelley
Beth Krammes
Angela Kallas-Miller
Craig Sayre
Ivana Matejic
Lindsey McQuilkin Sweis
Fr. Kevin Gregory Long, pastor of St. Elias Orthodox Church, New Castle, PA
Vladimir Marjanovic
Vessela Valiavitcharska-Marcum
David Marcum
Rev Protodeacon Peter Danilchick
Amir Azarvan
Ms. Roswitha Korobi

* * *