Fate of Kidnapped Church Officials Unknown
The Committee of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, and Metropolitan Boulous Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, remain in the hands of kidnappers despite the ongoing pleas and prayers by church groups around the world.
The World Communion of Reformed Churches, of which the Christian Reformed Church is a founding member, is among the faith groups that has called for the release of the church officials who have now been in the hands of an unknown group for more than 100 days.
The bishops were kidnapped on Monday, April 22, 2013, near the Turkish-Syrian border between Aleppo and Antioch.
The Committee of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate made an official statement on Monday, saying that the two sister churches “have publicly and in private and continue today to exert every effort at local, regional and global levels” to seek the release of Ibrahim and Yazigi.
The kidnappers have not indicated the whereabouts of the two church officials and have not announced their identity and what are their demands or the purpose behind the kidnapping.
“The two … are in captivity and their will is being suppressed and suffer from medical conditions that need to be addressed due to their age,” said the statement from the committee.
“This is an appeal from the hearts of friends and family and all people of pure conscience and people of goodwill thanking in advance all those who cooperated and sought to help materialize the will of God in this world providing freedom to the kidnapped (church officials)...”