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Joint Communique on the Abduction of Bishop Paul and Bishop John

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.antiochian.org/joint-communique-abduction-bishop-paul-and-bishop-john Joint Communique on the Abduction of Bishop Paul and Bishop John /The
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 24, 2013

      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
      this country.

      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]
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