All that has been happening in the Middle East – not just since the Arab Spring in 2011, but what really began and has been growing since Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 – is not black and white, and cannot be interpreted in simple terms. We should refrain from rushing to place the blame on one party or another. There are many players involved and world governments are playing a very complicated political game.

What we have to keep in mind is that the group that suffers the most is the innocent. The group that pays the heaviest price is the innocent. Whether it was Assad who gassed his people, or whether it was a group of anti-government rebels who committed this despicable crime, we cannot lose sight of those whose lives have been forever devastated. 

When world powers involve themselves in the Middle East with only their own country’s self-interest in mind, the end result is often what we see: the catastrophic destruction of people’s lives. 

If the players – whether rebel groups or official governments – took a moment and thought with their conscience and took the time to negotiate and have a dialogue, we may have a completely different Middle East, and a completely different world. As always, we are gravely concerned for the future of Christianity throughout the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria.

Our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their relatives in the Middle East and the diaspora. 

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