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Damascus bishops denounce attack against Umayyad Mosque

DAMASCUS – Bishops in Damascus lashed out at the cowardly terrorist attack against the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus that claimed the lives of several citizens including children.

The bishops, who paid a solidarity visit to the Umayyad Mosque on Saturday, said that targeting worshipping places and Muslim and Christian clergymen ”is a targeting of the values of tolerance, amity and peace that the divine messages have called for.”

The bishops affirmed that the Umayyad Mosque is a precious landmark ”dear to the hearts of all Syrians”, especially Christians as it contains the shrine of John the Baptist.

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DAMASCUS/SANA – Greek Orthodox Patriarchal Assistant Archbishop Luka al-Khoury said the bishops’ visit comes to express solidarity with “a splendid cultural, religious and historic landmark.”

He affirmed that terrorism will not diminish the will of the Syrian people, saying ”We came here to tell the whole world that we stand undivided against terrorism, and that they will fail to tear apart our national unity.”

Bishop Armash Nalbandian, Primate of the Diocese of Damascus said that the Syrian people are in pain over the attack that has rocked the Umayyad Mosque, indicating that ”it was the Syrian diversity and unity that the terrorists sought to target.”

”The visit is intended to express our boundless love to the Umayyad Mosque,” Bishop Matta Khoury, secretary to Syriac Orthodox Patriarch said.

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Al-Zoubi: Syria unique model in region… Hassoun: Religious parties target Arabs & Muslims

DAMASCUS – SANA/M.Nassr/M.Ismael – Baath Arab Socialist Party on Saturday held the “Baath Forum for Dialogue” under the title “Citizenship: Duties and Rights… Citizen’s Role in Ending Crisis”.

In a speech during the event, Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said that Syria is a unique model in the region, adding that the steadfastness of the country is a result of the patriotic citizens who constitute the vast majority of the Syrians.

He stressed that the victory is not far away and the external challenges are by far less hard, adding that the aggression on Syria is an old story whose chapters are rewritten whenever a chance looms.

Minister al-Zoubi said that citizenship is firstly belonging, identity, rights and duties.

For his part, Syria’s Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badr Eddin Hassoun, said that Syria is upbringing its citizens on the mentality of the one Arab nation, adding that the religious parties were made as to fight the Arab nation and igniter sedition in the Muslim world.

In turn, Member of the Regional Leadership of al-Baath Party, Khalaf al-Muftah, said that martyrdom is the highest rank of patriotism, adding that the aggression on Syria aims to topple the Syrian state and undermine values and morals.

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