Advertisement The Margaret Beaufort Institute of TheologyThe Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology Would you like to advertise on ICN? Click to learn more.

Syrian Churches marks fourth anniversary of abducted bishops with appeal for peace


Still missing: Bishop Boulos Yazigi and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim

Still missing: Bishop Boulos Yazigi and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim

Source: Fides

Easter this fell this year close to the fourth anniversary of the abduction of the two bishops of Aleppo.

In a joint statement the two Patriarchs of Antioch, Greek Orthodox Yohanna X and Siro Orthodox Mar Ignatios Aphrem II, lamented the absence of the two Metropolitans of Aleppo - Syriac Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Boulos Yazigi - abducted on April 22, 2013.

"This fourth anniversary is perhaps the most appropriate time for us to raise our voice once more, and to put in the ears of our believers and of all the world the voice of our pain in the Church of Antioch, and the voice of all those who are afflicted in this East."

The bishops were kidnapped in the area between the Syrian metropolis and the border with Turkey. The car in which the two Bishops were traveling was held up by the kidnappers, and the Catholic driver was killed. He was married with three children.

Since then, no group has claimed responsibility. Six months after the kidnapping (see General Abbas Ibrahim, head of the Lebanese General Security, revealed that the place where the two abducted Bishops were detained had been identified, and said that "Indirect contacts" with the kidnappers to obtain their release had begun.

The joint message reads: "Christians of the Church of Antioch always pledge to remember that the path of the resurrection began with the Cross, and was crowned with the light of the empty Tomb. As we imitate Christ, we do not fear death or adversity, but we pray in our weakness, as our Lord Jesus Christ Himself prayed, that the cup of suffering may pass".

The message of the two Patriarchs also expresses the will and desire of the Eastern Christians to continue to live in the lands of their millennial rooting: "The power of this world will not drive us out of our land, because we are the sons of the cross and the resurrection. We have been displaced throughout history, and we are still being displaced up to this day, but each of us is called to remember that the land of Christ will not be emptied of his beloved ones and of those who were named after him two thousand years ago.

'And if the act of kidnapping the two archbishops and priests aims at defying our Eastern Christian presence, and uprooting it from this land, our answer is clear: even though it has been four years since the two archbishops were kidnapped and this crisis has lasted six years, we are staying here next to the tombs of our fathers, and their hallowed ground. We are deeply rooted in the womb of this East."

They said: "We are not in need of sympathy for us or denunciation of others, but we are in need of serious and sincere good will from all parties to foster peace in our land....We do not leave this issue in the care of the civilized world, which has burdened us with its talk about democracies and reforms, while our eastern man is deprived of bread and of all means of livelihood.

"This is a war, unfortunately, imposed upon us as Syrians, and there are consequences that burden us as Lebanese. And there is a price which we pay as Easterners all over the Middle East stemming from the results of all wars, as though bets are waged on our land... Our call today is a cry of "enough!" in the face of those who finance the terrorist, but feign blindness of his existence, and later rush to fight him or to make a claim to fight him".

Adverts

Sisters of the Holy Cross

We offer publicity space for Catholic groups/organisations. See our advertising page if you would like more information.

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

You can support our journalism by advertising with us or donating to ICN.

Mobile Menu Toggle Icon