Video: Syrian Anglican priest urges dialogue for peace

By Matthew Davies
Posted Feb 15, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] Syria has for the past 11 months been embroiled in a civil conflict in which President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have responded with violence and bloodshed to protestors calling for an end to his leadership.

In recent weeks the crackdown has escalated in many of Syria’s major cities. U.N. and human rights groups have estimated that the Syrian Army has killed at least 6,000 protesters since the start of the uprising in March 2011.

China and Russia vetoed a Feb. 4 U.N. Security Council Resolution that would have called for Assad to step down. Before the vote, President Barack Obama denounced Assad’s “unspeakable assault,” demanded that he leave power immediately, and called for U.N. action against his “relentless brutality.”

The Rev. Nadim Nassar, a Syrian Anglican priest who lives in London and is a member of the Church of England, speaks with ENS about the need for dialogue between the current regime and its opponents for there to be any hope of a peaceful resolution. Nassar is director of the London-based Awareness Foundation, an ecumenical initiative founded in 2003 in response to religious conflict and violence around the world and to educate about peaceful coexistence in pluralistic societies.


Comments (5)

  1. Greg Capaldini says:

    I met this priest when he visited a parish in Washington, DC. I believe he is the kind of person who could succeed in opening dialogue to avert continued bloodshed and violence. His group, the Awareness Foundation, is supported by St. Paul’s Parish K Street in DC, among others.

    1. Marika Jenkins says:

      I met this priest in London when he conducted a memorial service for my brother in law. He is a most charismatic man. A very good example of a true Christian.

  2. Debbie Shew says:

    Nadim — you have been so much on my mind and in my prayers these last weeks. Every day the news seems worse, though I know we’re not getting the full story that you must have. I’ve been listening constantly for mention of Latakia. Didn’t know you had family also in Aleppo. But of course know you have dear friends across the country. You helped me understand that it’s so much more complicated than I’d realized as an American who didn’t comprehend the complex role religion plays in all of this. Praying for courage, for safety, for the kind of true dialogue for which you’re calling. If only our churches would foster this kind of deep listening and dialogue EVERYwhere! Proof that efforts like your Awareness Foundation are more critical than ever. Thank you for your amazing commitment and open-heartedness. Blessings from Atlanta!

    1. Nadim Nassar says:

      Thank you so much for all your support, encouragement and love. I am deeply touched with your words. God bless you.

  3. Jenny Brake says:

    Dear Nadim, i too have you in my prayers and heart.

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