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Support and prayers for abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18445 Support and prayers for abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo By staff writers 29 May 2013 Gathered in Lebanon, the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2013

      Support and prayers for abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo
      By staff writers
      29 May 2013

      Gathered in Lebanon, the participants in an international and ecumenical
      conference on Christian presence in the Middle East have issued a
      statement in support of the two abducted Metropolitans from Aleppo, His
      Eminence Boulos (Yazigi), from the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and
      His Eminence Mor Youhanna Gregorios (Ibrahim) from the Syriac Orthodox
      Church of Antioch.

      The statement reads: "The kidnapping of the two Metropolitans occurred
      one month ago, and their churches, their relatives, their sisters and
      brothers in the large ecumenical family are still without any news about
      their situation. We are distressed and saddened by this outrageous act
      that violates our common humanity, and we reiterate our firm
      condemnation of it. We call for the immediate release our two beloved
      brothers, and the release of all those who are captured in Syria.

      "The two Metropolitans are well known by all of us gathered here and by
      many churches and religious leaders around the world. They are both
      committed to the ecumenical movement and have developed meaningful
      interreligious relations and understanding which derives from their
      lives in communities where Christians and Muslims have lived together
      peacefully for centuries. Their pastoral, social and public work is
      appreciated by their flocks and by all their fellow citizens in Aleppo
      and in Syria. We have missed their presence, their wisdom and spiritual
      example in our conference.

      "We join our voices to those of His Beatitude Patriarch John X Yazigi,
      Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and His Beatitude Mar
      Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of
      Antioch, in their joint communiqué issued on 23 April 2013, and address
      the kidnappers telling them that “those whom they kidnapped are
      messengers of peace in this world. Their religious, social and national
      work witnesses for them”.

      "Knowing well the two Metropolitans, we are sure that they will forgive
      their aggressors in accordance with the Christian values they have
      always promoted. We pray and hope that their speedy release will
      strengthen the interreligious relations and trust that have been built
      up over centuries in a region that has been and still is an example of
      diversity and living together in mutual respect.

      "We pray God for all those who have been kidnapped, and for our two
      Metropolitans to bring them back to the service of His beloved Church,
      to us, to their people, and to all those who know and love them. We also
      pray God that He will enlighten the minds and hearts of their kidnappers
      so that they rediscover their true humanity," it concludes.

      The conference took place from 21 – 25 May 2013, at the Notre-Dame du
      Mont Monastery. Its participants included Patriarchs, Heads of Churches,
      and representatives of every Christian church in the Middle East along
      with Christian churches and organisations from 34 countries.
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