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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





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Two Christian Bishops Were Kidnapped: Has a ‘Silent’ World Forgotten Them?

April,19 2016

It’s been three years since two top Christian clergymen were kidnapped by gunmen in Syria, prompting the brother of one of the victims – himself a senior cleric – to raise alarm that “the world is silent.” “We hope that the bishops are alive, but unfortunately, the world is silent and nobody has provided physical evidence,” Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch said couple weeks ago on the anniversary of their disappearance ...

The two religious leaders, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi, were kidnapped by gunmen on Monday April 22, 2013 when they were on their way back from the Turkish border to their city of Aleppo.

Raising concerns about their fate, no group has claimed responsibility for their abduction.

“We tried to negotiate with those who can help in this matter, but unfortunately, there was total silence,” said John the patriarch, the brother of the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Boulos.

Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk tried to offer a more positive interpretation for the silence, suggesting no news is “good news.”

“No side has actually claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but we still have hope that the two bishops are alive, and there is more good news than bad news,” Machnouk said according to Lebanon’s Daily Star at a Beirut ceremony last couple weeks ago marking the anniversary of their disappearance.

“Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and all eastern countries contain terrorists who pretend to be religious while they do not represent us,” Machnouk said. “They hold on to the peel thinking it’s the core. They are intruders to our religion.”

Along with no claims of responsibility, there have been no demands for ransom as well.

Please pray for the release of kidnapped two archbishops and peace of the world as well.


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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 18 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

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