Syrian Archbishop Pleas for an End to Violence in his Country During Visit in New Haven

Please help stop the fighting in Syria. That was the plea as a church leader from that war-torn country stops in Connecticut.

And it came the same day the governor picked up a prestigious prize for his work to defend Syrian refugees.

The Knights of Columbus pushed for the U.S. to call what’s happening in Syria and nearby countries a “genocide.” Secretary of State John Kerry finally did that back in March.

Now the question is what do next and that’s part of why the Knights of Columbus helped bring an important figure to the state on Sunday.

At a place usually seen as a safe haven the talk turned to a dangerous part of the world.

“I fear for the good people,” says Father Edward Kakaty of the Melkite Catholic Church of Waterford.

Hundreds of people filled the pews at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven for a discussion called “Witness to Genocide.”

An archbishop from Syria, Jean Clement Jeanbart, described the killings and brutal treatment of Christians and other religious groups at the hands of ISIS.

“It’s getting much worse than it was before, much worse,” says Father Kakaty.

The archbishop delivered a similar message to the United Nations last week. We sat down with him to talk about his message there.

“To do what they can to stop this war,” says Archbishop Jean Clement Jeanbart.

Many people have fled Syria. Some who tried to find safety in the United States were blocked.

After the terror attacks in Paris, many U.S. governors stopped Syrian refugees from resettling in their state last fall.

"Suddenly in the middle of darkness there emerged a light," says Fatema, a refugee from Syria.

Fatema and her family, who did not want their last name released to protect family in Syria, was prevented from going to Indiana.

In their moment of need, Governor Dan Malloy offered them a new start in New Haven.

For that he was awarded the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in Boston on Sunday.

"And to raise my voice when people would subjugate other individuals... Would bar them at the door because of the land they came from or the religion they practice. We, as Americans, can not tolerate that,” says Malloy.

 The governor joins previous award recipients including former President George H.W. Bush and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Contact Us