GRAND PRIEURE DE FRANCE DU TEMPLEosmth-logo-gif-1.gifarms OSMTH.jpg

   OSMTH Sovereign Military Order  of the Temple of Jerusalem                                          



WHEREAS, in October of 2015 the Grand Magistral Council of OSMTH, meeting in Cologne in Germany, has been petitioned by numerous organizational and international bodies to review three issues which pose grave threats to the Christian Faith, to the stability of both the Middle East and, in the near term, possibly major parts of Europe; and which, regrettably, bring back past practices of people against peoples of the most evil type; and

WHEREAS, these practices are challenging the best planning of the European Union, the United Nations, many of the governments of the Middle East and the Faiths of the Sons of Abraham; and

WHEREAS, the first of these challenges involves the assault upon the cultural and religious heritage of many of the great religions of the world, and in particular of the Christian Faith; and

WHEREAS, what was believed in 2001 to be an isolated attack by the Taliban on the Buddhist sculptures of the Buddhas of Bamiyan has widened into a fierce assault against the heritage of many faiths; and

WHEREAS, these attacks have continued unabated with ever growing intensity by Islamist extremists, examples of which are Christian cultural heritage sites in Kosovo and Methohja, followed by an “ISIS”/DAESH campaign to exterminate the Christian presence in all parts of Iraq and Syria under their control, including churches in Mosul and the Christian church of the Virgin Mary in Syria; and

WHEREAS, DAESH, in their uncivilized rage, further focused on Muslim historic and cultural sites, including the Muslim Sufi sites such as the destruction of the tombs of the Sufi Saints in the Aleppo countryside; and carried out the unspeakable and barbaric acts of pillaging for profit, or otherwise demolishing, one of the most historic collections of cultural and religious artifacts in Syria and the murder of the Syrian Antiquities Director Khaled al-Asaad; and 

WHEREAS, DAESH has taken all opportunities to pillage synagogues and Jewish religious artifacts within their reach; and

WHEREAS, many of these sites are on the list of World Heritage in Danger assembled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and  

WHEREAS, the Grand Priors of OSMTH strongly believe that such acts of destruction are abhorrent, unacceptable in a civilized world, and must be viewed as direct threats against all, or parts, of the Great Religions of the world; and that such activities must be made public and opposed and that delegations from this Order should raise awareness of this threat by visiting such sites, as and when appropriate and feasible; and

WHEREAS, a second threat to the very existence of Christianity has been defined by Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, during a recent speech in August to a large assemblage in South America, when he said: “Today we are dismayed to see how, in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus”… He continued, “In this third world war, waged piece-meal, which we are now experiencing; a form of genocide is taking place”; and

  • WHEREAS, this most barbaric act – genocide – has occurred throughout history, on every continent and against many peoples; and
  • WHEREAS, amongst the Christians the martyred people of Armenia stand foremost in our minds and in our prayers; and
  • WHEREAS, the Grand Magistral Council of OSMTH firmly believes that, if this “third world war” is beginning and Christian peoples with their belief are at risk of extermination, we must raise our voices in immediate opposition to this potential tragedy and again, through international forums and the faithful of all religions of the world, call on humanity to confront and stop such a horrible action; and

WHEREAS, these horrible occurrences are now creating a third challenge, as whole populations of peoples from the Middle East, which include both Christians and Muslims, are forced to flee in huge numbers, to Europe including countries ranging from Russia to the United Kingdom; and

  • WHEREAS, this challenge to our common humanity, driven by barbaric and genocidal acts, must be vigorously met and turned back; and
  • WHEREAS, the Grand Priors of OSMTH willingly accept the need to assist in undertaking advocacy and providing humanitarian relief to alleviate this struggle, following the guidance of the great religious leaders of the Eastern and Western Churches; and
  • WHEREAS, the Protestant Regional Churches in Germany, our host country for this meeting, remind us of Psalm 36:7 which states: “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings!”; and
  • WHEREAS, to that end we join with the other Sons of Abraham and their leadership, such as the King of Jordan, in seeking to develop a structure that will allow all displaced Christians and others, who desire to return to their historic homes in the Middle East, a future opportunity to do so with dignity and happiness.


1. All OSMTH representatives at the United Nations and other international forums be informed of this policy statement of the Grand Magistral Council; and

The Officeholders of OSMTH are instructed to immediately begin working, in the interests of peacebuilding, with Governments, Christian Churches, other faith organizations and NGOs for the implementation of such advocacy and humanitarian relief and for the development of a “Return Home” policy for Middle Eastern Christians and others.