Damascus, Syria, May 5, 2011 / 17:47 pm
Patriarch Gregorios III, the Syria-based head of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, is warning Western leaders not to encourage the revolutions currently shaking up the Middle East.
“Our Arab countries are not ready for revolutions, and not even for democracy of the European kind and model,” the patriarch explained in a recent letter to Western leaders. “I am asking the West not to encourage revolutions unconditionally here and there in the Arab world.”
In the patriarch's native Syria, government forces have killed hundreds of protesters in response to continuing mass demonstrations.
The patriarch said “social, religious, and demographic” factors could cause instability and violence if regimes are toppled rather than reformed. He called for “evolution, not revolution,” and said Western leaders should push for reforms.