Sauca met with other leaders from around the world who serve in various spheres of influence including governments, faith entities, and non-governmental organizations. Participants endeavored to create an “actionable platform” for compassionate change on our shared planet.
Sauca reflected on “Compassion beyond boundaries—and the bridges that get us there.” He spoke of how building bridges of justice, reconciliation, and peace is a call for all people of faith.
He shared details of visiting churches and people in Lebanon and Syria. “We went by car from Lebanon to Damascus and, from there, on to Aleppo,” he said. “We saw the pain and suffering of the people, the former towns and villages that are deserted and entirely destroyed.”
Yet, in the ruins that are left, here and there, Sauca also saw children in kindergarten or classrooms, modest hospitals, and places that care for older people. “We were moved to see how the churches are managing and taking care of such projects and that the people who are benefiting from these projects are not only Christians, but all also Muslim and all those in need,” he said. “The situation of the people, however, is unbearable.”
When he returned to Geneva, Sauca signed a letter addressed to President Biden asking that the sanctions be lifted. “And we are still waiting with hope to get a response,” he said. “We have seen such sanctions in other nations as well, inflicting suffering among the people, and we did our best to address those with compassion as well.”
Sauca said he is aware that some of these kinds of initiatives or actions may seem, for some people, unpopular or unfashionable. “Yet, I personally think that in all situations we cannot keep silent from witnessing to the values of our faith which represent in fact the core of our identity,” he said. “It is our moral duty to see in the face of every human being God’s image and to address any suffering from the perspective of God’s compassionate love for all who suffer and are in need, not only for some selected ones.”
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