The hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the hierarchs of the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches in America (SCOOCH) learned with great sadness the news that religious edifices were targeted by certain extremist elements in Iraq.
SCOBA and SCOOCH have been and are deeply committed to interfaith dialogue. In Iraq, citizens of different faith backgrounds have lived together peacefully and harmoniously for centuries. “We deplore the violent and destructive acts of persons seeking to create disharmony and division among people whose faiths derive from one common Abrahamic source,” stated Archbishop Demetrios, chairman of SCOBA and Metropolitan Philip Saliba, vice-chairman of SCOBA.
Archbishop Barsamian, chairman of SCOOCH, added, “We pray for the victims of these divisive forces. We pray for the enlightenment of those who sow division. And we express our love for and solidarity with all persons of good will in Iraq.”