SOURCE: Notes on Arab Orthodoxy
The target is the society of coexistence, the society of encounter and interdependence among all elements in a civil state that embraces all in equal rights and responsibilities and preserves diversity that enriches and does not negate. We realize, Sayyidna, that our peaceful witness to Christ risen from the dead is subject to dangers in this tormented Middle East, including persecution. The Lord warned us of this at the Mystical Supper: "the servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20). But He asked us to stand firm with courage and intelligence, that today more than any time in the past our witness might be effective and present: a witness of openness that rejects insularity, a witness of initiative towards the other that rejects retreat, a witness of encounter that rejects division, a witness of dialog that rejects unilateralism in thought, speech, and program, a witness of embrace that rejects any type of negation, a witness of freedom that rejects any type of dominance, the witness of a person who is free and dignified in his life, the witness of unity that admits diversity. The target today is the ability to encounter man and serve him anew, regardless of his religion, creed, or affiliation, to have boldness in national moderation and the refusal to follow sectarian plans and various unilateralisms. You and those like you, men armed with hope, are a danger to them. Your kidnapping is an attempt to hijack the bold line of national moderation, rooted in this Arab Middle East and which always has been and will remain the historic line of the Middle Eastern Antiochian Orthodox Patriarchate, for which our beloved Patriarch John X is boldly and firmly working. If sorrow has enveloped his heart in awaiting your return, may our joy be fulfilled and let us complete the journey with you for the sake of a bold and loving witness and a model of openness in which we participate in citizenship with our Muslim brothers to build Arab nations, states, and societies that respect man. Let us make them long for the face of God in our neighbor also. Let us openly remain aware that when adversities are great, so too is hope!