THERE ARE ATTEMPTS TO SEPARATE ANTIOCHIAN PATRIARCHATE INTO SYRIAN AND LEBANESE CHURCHES, ASSAD SAYS

THERE ARE ATTEMPTS TO SEPARATE ANTIOCHIAN PATRIARCHATE INTO SYRIAN AND LEBANESE CHURCHES, ASSAD SAYS from Orthodox Christianity

At his meeting with a Russian delegation today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spoke about attempts to divide the Church of Antioch into two separate Churches of Syria and Lebanon according to the pattern of the Church schism in Ukraine.

The head of the Russian delegation, Duma Deputy Dimitry Sablin, the co-chairman of the working group for the implementation of the agreement between the United Russia party and the Baath party, reported this to journalists today after meeting with the Syrian head of state, reportsTASS.

“Attempts to divide believers are one of the most serious problems, not just for you, but for us too,”Sablin said, quoting Assad. “Today we see attempts to divide the Church in our land too—an attempt to divide the Antiochian Church into Syria and Lebanon.”

In particular, Sablin said, again quoting Assad, “there are talks about granting independence to the Metropolis of Lebanon.” Assad also warned that “this process may continue.”

The President also spoke of the need to “prevent this division on all international platforms. Otherwise we will have hundreds of Orthodox churches and only one Vatican.”

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