His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II was invited to give a talk in a discussion panel on “Protecting Freedom of Belief and Christian Minorities in Zones of Conflict.”
Panelists included Prof. Thomas Schirrmacher, Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom and President of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights Commissioner for Religious Freedom and Persecuted Christians (Germany) and Mr. Knox Thames, Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia in the United States Department of State. The remarks at the panel were delivered by Dr. Philipp Hildmann, Commissioner for Intercultural Dialogue in the Hanns-Seidel Foundation.
His Holiness spoke about the persecution of Christians in their homeland as well as the consequences of these persecutions, resulting in migration of a large percentage of the Christian population from Iraq and Syria. He also suggested that the solution is to help Christians remain in their homeland and provide security and stability for them as well as equal citizenship in their countries.
His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern USA, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, accompanied His Holiness to the discussion panel.