17808Joint Communique on the Abduction of Bishop Paul and Bishop John
- Apr 24, 2013http://www.antiochian.org/joint-communique-abduction-bishop-paul-and-bishop-john
Joint Communique on the Abduction of Bishop Paul and Bishop John
/The following official joint statement has been released by the Greek
Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, and the Syriac
Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. (Original PDF here.
On Monday the 22.04.2013, we were surprised by the news that our
brothers Bishop Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo and Alexandretta and Bishop John
(Ibrahim) Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, have been kidnapped on their
way back to Aleppo after accomplishing a humanitarian mission. We deeply
regret what happened as we regret all similar acts targeting civilians,
regardless of their belonging and therefore we address to the local and
international communities the following declaration:
1- The Christians living here are an essential part of their lands. They
suffer the pain every person suffers, work as messengers of peace to
lift the injustice off every oppressed: They follow the teaching of
their Gospel telling them that love is the basis of human relations. The
official positions issued by the spiritual leaders of the various
churches, are the best expression in this respect and the mission
fulfilled by the two kidnapped bishops is but a further proof of this
2- The Christians in this East are deeply sorrowed by what their
countries are going through, namely violence that is spreading and
killing the sons of the one country and exposing their lives to various
dangers of which kidnapping, that represents one of its the most
horrible expressions due to its absurdity, and ist jeopardizing of the
lives of the peaceful and unarmed individuals. We call the kidnappers to
respect the life of the two kidnapped brothers as well as everyone to
put an end to all the acts that create confessional and sectarian
schisms among the sons of the one country.
3- We understand the anxiousness of the Christians because of what
happened and call them to patience, to hold on to the teachings of their
faith, and to rely on God whose strength lies in our weakness. For
defending our land means first of all to hold on to it and to work on
making it a land of love and coexistence. We are also aware that all
citizens from all confessions suffer the same pain due to such acts, and
we pray that the Lord may strengthen them in their difficulties. We
support them to raise the voice high in refusing all sorts of violence
tearing up our countries and making our hearts bleed.
4- In this painful situation, we can but call the whole world to try
putting an end to the Syrian crisis so that Syria becomes again a garden
of love, security and coexistence.
Settling accounts should not happen at the expense of the human beings
who live here.
5- We also call all the churches in the whole world to stand fast in the
face of what is going on and witness to their faith in the power of love
in this world. It is necessary to take steps that reflect their refusal
to all kinds of violence hitting the human beings living in the East.
6- We take the opportunity to call our partners in citizenship, from all
islamic confessions, to stand hand in hand and work on refusing the
misuse of man and deal with him as a product, a shield in the battles or
a means for monetary or political bribery.
7- Finally we address the kidnappers and tell them that those whom they
kidnapped are messengers of peace in this world. Their religious, social
and national work witnesses for them. We call them to deal with this
painful accident away from any tension that serves only the enemies of
We pray the Lord in these blessed times so that this crisis quickly ends
and that the souls of all our brothers and sisters regain their security
and peace, so that our country enjoys the prosperity and peace it deserves.
*Patriarch John X Yazigi*
*Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas*
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]