(On the Kidnapping of Metropolital Paul and Archbishop Gregorios Yohanna)
A cloud of fear and suffering floats over the Middle East and especially Syria’s city of Aleppo, which is still awaiting, on the eve of Orthodox Palm Sunday, the release of its two missing bishops, Their Eminences Paul Yazigi, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Alexandretta, and Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, of whom we have no news – despite constant efforts at all levels – made to secure their release.
We are in constant contact with Their Beatitudes John X and Mar Ignatios Zakka I Iwas.
During these holy days of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, we declare our solidarity with both patriarchs and our brother bishops Paul and Gregorios Yohanna, with a view to obtaining the speedy release of the two churchmen and their return to their Churches and congregations, so that everyone can joyfully celebrate their return to serving Christians and all citizens of Aleppo and dear Syria.
We ask all our faithful in all our Churches to unite in constant prayer to obtain the grace of this release and all our bishops and parish priests to read the letter for Palm Sunday of His Beatitude John X. We pray for peace and security in Syria and for it to find once more the path of dialogue and reconciliation among its citizens.
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
Father Khalil Alwan
General Secretary of the CECP