Pope calls on gunmen to free two kidnapped archbishops in Syria

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YoutubeApril 23, 2013. (Romereports.com) Gunmen kidnapped two Christian Orthodox archbishops on Monday as the made their way back to Aleppo in northern Syria from the Turkish border.

Both the Syriac and the Greek Orthodox Church confirmed on their websites that several gunmen stopped their car, killing the driver and kidnapping the two archbishops.

Metropolitan Yuhanna Ibrahim leads the Aleppo diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church, while Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi leads the Greek Orthodox Church in that same city.

According to the Churches, both men were also working on securing the release of two other priests that had also been kidnapped.

The Syriac Orthodox Patriach Ignatius Zakka I called for prayers and on the kidnappers to release the two archbishops. Kidnapped Metropolitan Yazigi is also the brother to Greek Orthodox Patriach John X Yazigi.

Pope Francis also joined the call to prayer. In a statement, he asked for peace for the people of Syria and the safe return of the two kidnapped prelates.