Hugh Johnson, retired United Methodist missionary and former Superintendent of the United Protestant Church in Algeria, has passed on the following message from the church in Iran which has been delivered to President Hollande of France in a French translation of the English original text:
Greetings in the name of our Lord.
Now after more than two years destructive and terrible war in Syria, the great western powers, and especially United State of America is going to expand the war through a direct intervention! Though your officials are trying to convince public opinion and justify their probable intervention through reasoning - claiming protecting human dignity in Syria, and preventing danger of chemical warfare, the issue created some serious doubts, suspicion and concerns among the people of the region including different communities of Christians.
So by this letter as part of the Presbyterian community of the region we ask you please to express our views and concerns regarding the issue to your big communities:
1. We remember the suspicious and shameful silence of the western powers including United States of America during the 8th years war of Saddam Hussein and his regime against Iran, and complete neglecting of an almost constant chemical warfare that he imposed to Iranian people (at least in some stages of the war); and the issue creates some serious doubts regarding the current reasoning of the United States of America and other western powers including France, and also regarding frankness of their high level officials!
2. We remember almost the same reasoning that was developed against Saddam Hussein after his destructive war against Iran, and we remember again the famous slogan of American officials of that time, “the World will be safer place without Saddam Hussein!” However after such long and costly war not only the level of security in world and especially in the region is not improved, but Iraq has turned to be an almost safe hiding place for the terrorist groups including al-Qaida, and as result the big community of Iraqi Christians which was more than two million before the first Gulf War decreased more than five times, big numbers of church buildings were destroyed, strong waves of immigration have been created, the hostility among different tribes and religious sects of the country increased, and civil war continues! We are watching the terrible news of Iraq everyday, which tell us a big number of innocent people are slaughtering there everyday, and the situation as whole shows us that Iraq (at least considerable parts) in fact after the western powers military intervention has turned to be a hell!
Of the issue we have many things to say however this should be concluded by letting you know that we expect you earnestly to do your best to prevent your political leaders from entering a new war that without doubt will impose heavy expenses to your own societies, and it will also increase the pain, destruction, lack of security, poverty and post-war bitter consequences in the region; and we ask you also to make your political leaders to support United Nation earnestly in order to find a peaceful political solution for Syrian hard crisis instead of war.
Jesus Christ declared, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.”
Rev. Sargez Benyamin
The Executive Secretary
[Protestant Synod of Iran]