WASHINGTON, DC — The National Council of Churches (NCC) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concern about the plight of Christian communities in Syria specially the depopulation of Armenian community of Kessab, stating: “While Syrians of all religious communities are caught up in this horrible conflict, of particular concern to us are the Christian communities, which are often the most vulnerable.”

“One situation that has just come to our attention is the attack on the Armenian villages of Kessab. Though this attack comes in the wider context of the overall Syrian conflict, it nevertheless has brought death and destruction to the Christian communities there,” the NCC letter reads in part. The letter specifically urged the President to “safeguard the vulnerable Christian communities” and to “restore stability to the Armenian communities of Kessab.”

Founded in 1950, the NCC has been a leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The 37 NCC member communions – from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches – include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

Following is the full text of the letter signed by James Edward Winkler, President and General Secretary and A. Roy Medley, Chair, National Council of Churches

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

The National Council of Churches has been, since its inception, an advocate for peace in the
Middle East. No matter the particular circumstances that have prompted our call for specific
actions to bring about peace over the years, our position has been very much guided by the
perspective of our church partners living in the region.

One of the most violent crises in today’s Middle East is the ongoing conflict in Syria. While
Syrians of all religious communities are caught up in this horrible conflict, of particular
concern to us are the Christian communities, which are often the most vulnerable.

One situation that has just come to our attention is the attack on the Armenian villages of
Kessab. Though this attack comes in the wider context of the overall Syrian conflict, it
nevertheless has brought death and destruction to the Christian communities there. Those
Christians that managed to escape the carnage are now living as refugees.

On behalf of the National Council of Churches, we would urge you to be vigilant in your
efforts to end the Syrian conflict, and among these efforts find a way to especially safeguard
the vulnerable Christian communities, and particularly to restore stability to the Armenian
communities of Kessab. With membership in the Council that includes churches with roots in
the Middle East, including the Armenian community, we stand ready to assist you in these
efforts in whatever way we can.

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