Orthodox Christian Statement Opposing Military Action Against Syria

opf-logoI’ve had my disagreements with the Orthodox Peace Fellowship (OPF) in the past mostly over their stand that pacifism is a viable option in addressing conflicts between people and nations. Pacifism is a coherent and honorable moral position but only for the individual. It cannot be imposed involuntarily and succeeds only when the larger promise of protection by non-pacifists exists.

Nevertheless, with the continuing threat of military action by America in Syria (which today seems to be abating largely through the diplomatic sophistication of the Russians) which is clearly wrong-headed policy by any measure and especially threatens the Christians of the region, the OPF statement deserves support.

Orthodox Christian Statement Opposing Military Action Against Syria

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, oh God! Psalm 51:14

Dear members and friends of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and all Orthodox Christians:

On August 21, 2013, a robust chemical weapons attack took place in Damascus, Syria, which US intelligence alleges was carried out by the Bashar Assad government and killed over 1400 civilians.

On August 30, 2013, President Obama asked the United States Congress to approve a limited, punitive military assault against Syria and the government of President Bashar Assad.

On September 3rd, President Obama declared that his goal is to degrade the Assad regime’s capabilities and to upgrade those of the opposition forces to help “set Syria free,” signaling escalatory intentions even before the first missile is launched and his readiness to interfere in the outcome of the civil war.

We agree that any use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and unreservedly condemn their use. However, while many pragmatic arguments against the contemplated military response are circulating, we ground our opposition to a military response, unilaterally or together with one or more international partners, on moral grounds consistent with Orthodox nonviolent, justifiable war, and pacifist traditions.

We urge you to consider our appeal alongside the unprecedented emerging coalition of Orthodox, Catholic, and other Christian jurisdictions and organizations calling on their faithful to oppose the contemplated US military action.

We urge our American members to contact your elected representatives in the House and Senate and ask them to vote no on any resolution authorizing such action, limited or otherwise.

We urge you to contact President Obama and urge him not to attack Syria.

We ask you to lend your signature to this statement adding your voice to our plea.

Note: If you disagree or do not feel you already have sufficient grounds for opposing the contemplated military attack, or if you simply want more information, please visit our website for a narrative foundation for our appeal, supporting material, an appended bibliography, and related resources: www.incommunion.org.

Thank you,

Jim Forest, OPF International Secretary
Alexander Patico, OPF North American Secretary
Pieter Dykhorst, OPF editor of In Communion
Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster, Chaplain (Colonel) USAR (Ret.)

To sign this Statement, read the Supporting Narrative, or find more resources concerning Syria, please visit www.incommunion.org.


  1. I strongly support opposition to US military attack on Syrian forces, which would clearly constitute an act of aggression that provides material support to Islamist forces that have been declared as enemies of the US.

  2. The hypocrisy of this administration simply astounds me. Doc Holliday says in the movie Tombstone, “my hypocrisy knows no bounds.” And neither does the Obama administration’s. I watched the President’s succinctly eloquent speech last night and was still not convinced that we should be involved with Syria. This President, the most anti-life pro-choice president we have ever had worrying about the gassing deaths of children?! What about the 50+ million aborted babies since 1973 in this country? Secretary Kerry, the three-time purple heart winner for his 3-4 month stint in Vietnam pushing for war – also a pro-choicer and a liar. Amazing! Interesting how all of this falls on the 1-year anniversary of Benghazi and in the midst of the “phony scandals” transpiring in D.C. What a convenient distraction. Reminds me when the other oval office embarrassment, “Slick Willie,” bombed an aspirin factory – or whatever – to distract attention from the Lewinski scandal. And when that dimwit, Pelosi, clamors for supporting this president’s position or any position, you know it’s a wrong move.

Speak Your Mind