Renewed calls for the safe return of abducted Syrian archbishops

Renewed calls for the safe return of abducted Syrian archbishops

The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) issue a renewed call for the safe return of the two archbishops of Aleppo, Syria who were abducted on the Turkish border on 22 April 2013.

The Syriac-Orthodox Archbishop Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and the Greek-Orthodox Archbishop Boulos Yazigi were both advocates for peace and against all forms of violence.

Reverend Tara Curlewis, NCCA general secretary said “Since their abduction there has been no news of their location or the identity of their kidnappers and the churches around the world continue to hold concerns for the health and well being of both archbishops. Now would be a good time for their release with Christians having just celebrated Easter.”

At the recent Geneva II conference Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria emphasised the importance of resolving all cases of kidnapping urgently.

Curlewis concluded “Well respected community leaders are vital in attaining stability to the current unrest in Syria which is fuelled by a deep distrust in the region. The recent death of Patriarch Zakka I Iwas has seen Syrian Christians calling for the safe return of Archbishop Ibrahim. Wise leaders who offer models of reconciliation and non violent alternatives can make a difference.”

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