"As we did yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, today in Sao Paulo we pray for those who are persecuted, killed only because they are Christians…War and violence never achieve lasting peace. Lasting peace is always associated with justice," Patriarch Kirill said.
Speaking at the largest Antiochian Orthodox Church in Latin America, whose jurisdiction spreads to Syria, Lebanon and other Middle Eastern states, Patriarch Kirill said he felt the "pain of all Christians who are oppressed today" inside the Catedral Metropolitana Ortodoxa.
"The declaration focuses attention on the persecuted, the suffering Christians and gives us a basis for joint action not only to protect them, but also on many other issues for a more peaceful world and for people to learn to live together," he added.
Wrapping up his February 11-22 Latin American tour, Patriarch Kirill left the Iberian Icon of the Mother of God to the church and icons of Christ for each of the more than 1,000 worshipers, church leaders, members of the Syrian and Lebanese diaspora, and the mayor of Sao Paulo.