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    » 04/24/2013, 00.00

    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

    Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Archbishop Ibrahim and Metropolitan Boulos al-Yaziji until last night were still in the hands of their kidnappers. Reports of their release yesterday afternoon were false." This is according to Msgr. Jean-Clement Jeanbart, Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, who emphasizes that the negotiations with the kidnappers are in progress, pointing out that at the moment "we know nothing" about their eventual release.

    Reports have been circulating since yesterday about the alleged release of the two prelates. In the afternoon, all of the major news agencies and global networks had announced the release of the two bishops. The first to have leaked the news were journalists of Agence France Press (AFP), which quoted a statement by the Oeuvre d'Orient. They were followed by Reuters who also confirmed the release, citing Msgr. Tony Yaziji, bishop of the Greek orthodox church. Archbishop Jeanbart explains that "this news spread in Syria, resulting in great confusion." But for the moment there has been no official confirmation.

    Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox bishop of the diocese of Aleppo and Boulos Yaziji, Greek orthodox Metropolitan of the diocese of the city, were abducted on the afternoon of April 22 in the village of Kafr Dael about 10 km from Aleppo. According to witnesses they were negotiating the release of two priests Fr. Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Fr. Maher Mahfouz (Greek-orthodox), seized in February and still in the hands of their kidnappers. On their return they ran into a roadblock set up by rebel militias, the car carrying the two bishops was surrounded by some armed men, perhaps Chechen jihadists, who opened fire on the vehicle, killing the driver deacon and seizing the prelates.

    The kidnapping of the two prelates has rocked the Syrian Christian community, Orthodox and Catholic. Yesterday, the pope said in the statement that he "follows the events with deep participation and intense prayer for the wellbeing and the release of the two abducted bishops."

     

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    See also

    20/04/2015 SYRIA
    Msgr. Zenari: prayers in Beirut and Damascus for kidnapped bishops and priests. Fears for their fate
    The apostolic nuncio in Syria confirms that "over time fears mount” for the fate of the Orthodox Bishops and Fr. Dall'Oglio. After two years in captivity, there is no news of them. The prelate recalls that "at least 20 thousand people have disappeared" in the country since the beginning of the conflict.

    22/05/2013 SYRIA
    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.

    23/05/2013 SYRIA - JORDAN
    Jordan’s Catholics march in silence for release of Syrian Orthodox bishops
    A candlelight vigil yesterday in Amman. Initiative was attended by hundreds of people. The march is a message of solidarity with the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Greek-Orthodox and the Syrian Orthodox Church. The kidnap of Msgr. Yohanna Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji afflicts not only Christians, but also secular society and Muslim.

    08/05/2013 SYRIA
    Silence still shrouds kidnapped Orthodox prelates. Bishop of Aleppo: We’re groping in the dark
    For Msgr. Jeanbart the act is inexplicable. The only certain thing is that no one knows where Msgr. Yohanna Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji are. Money, food, school, and spiritual comfort for the people of Aleppo plagued by war, famine and despair. Moscow and Washington seek a path of dialogue between rebels and regime.

    07/03/2014 SYRIA
    All contact lost with Ma'aloula nuns. Syria will sink further into war for another 10 years
    The kidnappers belong to Al Nusra Front, linked to Al Qaeda. In addition to the release of political prisoners they are demanding food for the rebels and that the Syrian army clear out from all Christian sites. No news on fate of abducted Orthodox bishops, or Fr. Dell'Oglio. All humanitarian corridors blocked.



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