BEIRUT, Lebanon – Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mar Ignatius Joseph III Yonan in his Easter message entitled “We Die with Christ to Live with Him” addressed the general conditions in the countries of the Middle East and the world and the crisis of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The patriarchal letter reads as follows:
“With the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is victorious over death, we will overcome the coronavirus pandemic and our life will return to normal. If only decision-makers in this world would refrain from their selfishness and vanity and realize that their tyranny is so small in front of a virus that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all people to confine themselves to their homes. We will hold prayers and Holy Liturgies in churches alone without the participation of believers, due to COVID-19 preventive measures taken by the governments and ecclesiastical pastors.
We pray to the Lord to end this catastrophe, heal the pandemic infected people and have mercy on the pandemic’s victims, protect humanity from the spread of this dangerous pandemic and inspire researchers and scientists to find a cure and effective vaccine as soon as possible.
In Lebanon, which is drowning under the coronavirus pandemic, we call on the authorities busy distributing the remaining spoils to its members, to activate its efforts in confronting this pandemic. We also call on the authorities to fight corruption, hold corrupt people accountable and reclaim stolen public money.
In war-torn Syria, we renew our call for the cessation of conflict. We also appeal to the global fighting powers to stop using Syria as an arena for their conflicts. We support all efforts to end the ongoing Syrian war.
The Patriarch ended his message saying:
“As for our beloved Iraq, its people have struggled for decades to establish a free, dignified and stable life. We are praying for a new government that meets the aspirations of all citizens and meets the legitimate demands of the protesters.”