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Syrian bishop to President Obama: ‘please leave us alone’

Catholic World News - September 17, 2013

One month after his episcopal ordination, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Nicolas Antiba of Bosra and Hauran, Syria, called upon President Barack Obama to “leave us alone.”

“I would say to President Obama, you always talk about peace,” he told Aid to the Church in Need. “Please leave us alone and put these ideas of peace into practice.”

“You have your own idea of democracy, and it is beautiful, but it is not necessarily our idea of democracy,” he continued. “Let us work out our own idea of democracy.”

Archbishop Antiba said that hundreds fled to his home after a church built in 542 was attacked. One third of the nation’s Christians, he said, have fled.

“It is not Syrians who are fighting Syrians,” he said in an apparent reference to non-Syrian jihadist rebels. “Those involved in the fighting are non-Syrians.”

“I believe, I know, that persecution will not destroy the Church,” he added. “Christians have suffered very greatly. We are still suffering. It is not easy.”

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 17, 2013 9:50 AM ET USA

    I think all of us could join in a chorus echoing the bishop's request to Obama: "Please leave us alone!"

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