SYRIA: Pax Christi International calls for the release of kidnapped bishops

Pax Christi International calls for the immediate liberation of Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo, and Paul Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo in Syria.

The two archbishops reportedly were kidnapped, and a deacon driving them – Fatha’ Allah Kabboud – was killed, while they were undertaking a joint humanitarian mission near the Turkish border north of Aleppo on 22 April 2013. There is no new development in the abduction of the two Metropolitan Bishops.

The Syrian government and the opposition forces have accused one another of these crimes, but no group has claimed responsibility. These kidnappings are a further sign of the tragic situation that is enveloping the Syrian nation, where violence and weapons continue to sow death and suffering.

Pax Christi International deeply regrets what happened and condemns all similar acts targeting civilians, regardless of their origin.

The International Catholic peace movement keeps calling the international community to engage fully in diplomatic and humanitarian efforts to respond to and end the horrific violence in Syria. A political solution to the crisis must be found as soon as possible.

Pax Christi International expresses its solidarity with the Syriac and the Greek Orthodox churches and invites its Member Organisations and people of good will to offer prayers for the missing archbishops and for a just peace in the region.