Patriarch hails India for its support to Syria

February 08, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:42 am IST - KOCHI

: Patriarch of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church Ingnatius Aphrem II has thanked the government of India for taking a stand in support of the people of Syria against extremism.

He, however, warned that India should be alert against the spread of religious extremism.

He said India was an example of religious tolerance and harmony.

But India was part of a world where there are increasing incidents of violence and extremism. The country should be watchful against the spread of such tendencies.

Young people tend to take to ideological or religious extremism and that is dangerous for the world, he added.

‘Dangerous situation’

Describing the situation in Syria, he said violence against various communities was continuing and both Christian Muslim communities had faced extremist attacks. The situation was dangerous and difficult, he said pointing out that the clergy belonging to both the religions had been killed in the persisting violence.

He also expressed anguish that the world largely remained silent on the issue and said that two archbishops, from Aleppo, had been kidnapped more than a year ago and had not been traced so far. The more dangerous situation is that people were emigrating from their homelands. Many want to be smuggled into Europe. This is a disturbing situation, he said.

The Patriarch said he would meet the heads of India government in Delhi and express his gratitude for the stand taken by India vis-à-vis extremist violence in Syria.

The Patriarch said he would also convey his concerns over the attacks on places of worship.

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