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  • » 05/22/2013, 00.00


    Aleppo prays for Orthodox bishops kidnapped a month ago

    Bishop Audo, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo, speaks of the pain of the Syrian Christian community. For a month the population has been waiting for news on the conditions of Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji kidnapped on 22 April. The appeal of Bartholomew I, for the liberation of the two prelates and peace in Syria. The hopes for an end to the conflict is supported by the hymn "Christ is Risen Alleluia", which is heard every day in all the churches of the city.

    Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Pray for the release of Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji and for all the people of Syria." This is the appeal of Msgr. Antoine Audo, Chaldean Archbishop of Aleppo one month after the kidnapping of the two Orthodox prelates, which took place on April 22 at the border with Turkey.

    "What most saddens us - says the prelate to AsiaNews - and what saddens the population is the total absence of news about the conditions of the two bishops and where they are prisoners." On 18 May, all the Christian churches of Aleppo, Catholic and Orthodox, organized a day of prayer for Syria. Thousands of people attended, braving the bombs, the risk of robberies and kidnappings. The bishop says priests and religious leaders are an easy target for criminals and extremists, "I myself cannot move freely for fear of being kidnapped. We have to plan all our trips."

    On May 24, the Catholic Church of Aleppo held a retreat of prayer and reflection in the Melkite Cathedral. It will bring together the priests and bishops of the diocese. "The spiritual exercises this year - says the prelate - are focused on what happened to Msgr. Youhanna and Msgr. Yaziji. All our prayers and celebrations will be offered for them."

    The climate of a city under siege, does not limit the life of the Church, which has become the only sign of hope in a devastated country. "We are in Eastertime - Msgr. Audo - and in all the churches we hear the song 'Christ is risen Alleluia.' Listening to this music in a climate of sorrow and war, moves us."

    In recent days, Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, launched an appeal for the release of the two prelates in the patriarchal and synodal encyclical published in all the Orthodox communities on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the promulgation of the Edict of Milan. In the text, Bartholomew expresses his deep concern and anguish for "the persecution still rampant in the land, and in particular recently against the Christian populations of the Middle East." "Murders, kidnappings, threats and lawsuits" against Christians: "We share - we read in Patriarch Bartholomew's encyclical - the pain, grief and the difficulties facing Christians in the Middle East and Egypt, and in particular, in the ancient and venerable Patriarchate of Antioch. Without taking any political position, we condemn without hesitation and once again all forms of violence against Christians, appealing to the powerful of the earth so that they respect fundamental human rights, the right to life, to dignity and the right to have a future, knowing and praising their behavior peaceful and quiet, and their constant effort to stay away from all violence and conflict. " For his part, "the Ecumenical Patriarchate will never cease to support with all the forces at his disposal, the efforts of peaceful dialogue between the different religions for a peaceful solution of conflicts and the creation of a climate of tolerance, reconciliation and cooperation between people of every religion and every ethnic origin. " (S.C.)


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    See also

    29/10/2013 RUSSIA - SYRIA
    Grand Mufti of Syria: The kidnapped Orthodox bishops are alive and in Turkey
    Ahmad Hassoun Badreddin's words reported by directors of a Russian humanitarian organization engaged in the Middle East and who met the Syrian spiritual leader in Moscow. "Chechen militants and the Turkish authorities behind kidnap".

    24/04/2013 SYRIA
    Mystery shrouds alleged release of two Orthodox bishops
    Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo Jean Clement Jeanbart, denies reports of the release of Msgr. Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos al-Yaziji. The two were being held prisoners until last night

    09/08/2011 SYRIA
    The Pope's appeal and the fears of Christians in Syria
    The nightmare is that Syria will become another Iraq, which explains why many Christian leaders seem to support the regime of President Assad. Benedict XVI's call for dialogue and renunciation of violence by both sides was not reported in Syrian media.

    23/04/2013 SYRIA
    Two Orthodox Bishops abducted by an armed group on the road to Aleppo
    They are the Syriac Orthodox bishop of Aleppo, Msgr. Youhanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskenderun, Msgr. Boulos al-Yaziji. Their driver was killed on the outskirts of the city. State television accuses "terrorist groups", but the identity of the kidnappers is not clear. Some time ago, Msgr. Ibrahim had dennounced kidnappings and violence against Christians.

    08/07/2005 SYRIA
    Greek-Orthodox Synod: "Joy for the renewed ecumenical dialogue"
    At the end of their synod, the bishops release a statement in which they "urge everyone to cooperate in the renewal of ecumenism" and express "hope in the democratic rebirth of Lebanon".

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