» 05/08/2013, 00.00
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.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) -
Silence still shrouds the plight of the Orthodox Bishops kidnapped on April 22
on the outskirts of Aleppo. For weeks, the Greek-orthodox Patriarchate has been
trying to establish contacts to start a negotiation and cannot understand the
reasons behind the act, which remains unexplained. Interviewed by AsiaNews,
Mgr. Jeanclement Jeanbart, the Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, said that
"we are groping in the dark", "the situation - he explains - is
very delicate, for safety reasons the Orthodox Patriarchate is keeping quiet to
avoid generating false news." For the prelate, the only thing certain is
that no one knows where Msgr. Yohanna Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji and the two
priests kidnapped in February are. "We Catholics - he adds - are close to
our Orthodox brothers and sisters, with prayer and with our constant physical
and moral presence."
expresses his sorrow for a country, a people and a city like Aleppo destroyed
and ravaged by war, hunger, despair. "The whole city is suffering - he
says - people are tired and afflicted." The bishop explained that families
are struggling to find food, fuel and other goods even the most basic are scarce.
The Church tries to help everyone without distinction. Thanks to donations, the
Greek-Melkite community has kicked off a program to support the poorest
households, with subsidies amounting to 50% of the average salary of a worker.
In addition, the daily distribution of food, medical care and free schooling
For the prelate,
"priests, bishops and religious leaders have the task of giving hope to
the people with material aid and through words of comfort." "The
population is aware that the Church does not deceive them with false
And now, the whole country is isolated, with Internet communications down with mobile
phones the only remaining bridge with the outside world. The cause of the
blackout is as yet unknown.
Meanwhile, the United
States and Russia have revived a channel of dialogue between rebels and the
regime and the possibility of a cease-fire, taking up the role vacated by Kofi
Annan in June 2012. On a visit to Russia, John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State,
has had several discussions on the issue with President Vladimir Putin and his
counterpart Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Moscow and Washington will
work together to convince both the Syrian government and the opposition to stop
the violence and to create a transitional government, which could also include
officials of the regime. (S.C.)
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.
Mosul, fresh anti Christian violence. Murder and torture
36-year old Chourik Bagrad, was massacred with multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Another believer was kidnapped New Years eve: he was released on payment of a ransom of 50 thousand dollars. AsiaNews sources relay that Mosul is a “volcano about to explode”.
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
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.
New video of abducted Ma'aloula nuns, calling for the release of "all detainees" in Syria
The video was broadcast by Al Jazeera. This time the sisters do not speak and there is only a voiceover. The sisters are a bargaining chip: the rebels want the release of all detainees in Syria.
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": A Christmas gift to survive winter
As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
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