[22/04/13] Two Aleppian bishops were kidnapped by Syrian rebels in the outskirts of the city Monday evening, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported. The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, which recieved news of the kidnapping of the two metropolitans this evening, will not issue any statement before tomorrow, pending their receiving complete and precise information about the kidnapping.
The NNA reported that Ibrahim, Yazigi and the third man, also a priest, were driving from a village near the Turkish border to Aleppo. According to details relayed to an-Nahar by specific sources, Metropolitan Yazigi was on the Turkish side of his archdiocese, which extends from Aleppo to Antakya and Metropolitan Ibrahim and gone to accompany him. Along the road on their return to Aleppo, an armed group stopped them before they could arrive to the city, killing Ibrahim’s driver and kidnapping the two metropolitans. The Orthodox metropolitan’s office relates that the two metropolitans were not injured. Metropolitan Boulos Yaziji is the brother of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X Yazigi.
The bishops are believed to alive and efforts are ongoing to secure their release.
Prayers are being asked of Christians throughout the world and the Metropolitan, Mgr Jerome Lloyd OSJV requests all Old Roman Catholic faithful in Europe to remember the metropolitans in their prayers as also the plight of all Christians in Syria and the Middle East.
Only recently hundreds of Christians were under siege inside Cairo’s Coptic cathedral as security forces and local residents, some armed with handguns, launched a prolonged and unprecedented attack on the seat of Egypt’s ancient Church on April 8th. At least one person was killed and at least 84 injured as Christians inside the walled St Mark’s cathedral compound came under a frenzied assault from their assailants in the main road outside. The fighting erupted after a mass funeral for five Copts who were killed during violent clashes in a north Egyptian town on the preceding Saturday.