Joint Communique Of The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Of Antioch and all the East And The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East

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My apologies for being late in posting this.  The following is the Joint Communique from the two Patriarchates whose bishops have been kidnapped.  They have been in our prayers, as have all the Christians in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt… in the entire Middle East.  Note that this is a bishop from the Eastern Orthodox communion and the Oriental Orthodox one.  Number four in the bulletins is a call for the entire world, but it seems to us in the West, that we are too preoccupied with our own convenience and agendas to remember the Christians in the East.  Lord have mercy!

23.04.2013

On Monday the 22.04.2013, we were surprised by the news that our brothers Bishop Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo and Alexandretta and Bishop John (Ibrahim) Syriac Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, have been kidnapped on their way back to Aleppo after accomplishing a humanitarian mission. We deeply regret what happened as we regret all similar acts targeting cvivilians, regardless of their belonging and therefore we address to the local and international communities the following declaration:

1- The Christians living here are an essential part of their lands. They suffer the pain every person suffers, work as messengers of peace to lift the injustice off every oppressed: They follow the teaching of their Gospel telling them that love ist the basis of human relations. The official positions issued by the spiritual leaders of the various churches, are the best expression in this respect and the mission fulfilled by the two kidnapped bishops is but a further proof of this orientation.

2- The Christians in this East are deeply sorowed by what their countries are going through, namely violence that is spreading and killing the sons of the one country and exposing their lives to various dangers of which kidnapping, that represents one of its the most horrible expressions due to its absurdity, and ist jeopardizing of the lives of the peaceful and unarmed individuals. We call the kidnappers to respect the life of the two kidnapped brothers as well as everyone to put an end to all the acts that create confessional and sectarian schisms among the sons of the one country.

3- We understand the anxiousness of the Christians because of what happened and call them to patience, to hold on to the teachings of their faith, and to rely on God whose strength lies in our weakness. For defending our land means first of all to hold on to it and to work on making it a land of love and coexistence. We are also aware that all citizens from all confessions suffer the same pain due to such acts, and we pray that the Lord may strengthen them in their difficulties . We support them to raise the voice high in refusing all sorts of violence tearing up our countries and making our hearts bleed.

4- In this painful situation, we can but call the whole world to try putting an end to the Syrian crisis so that Syria becomes again a garden of love, security and coexistence. Settling accounts should not happen at the expense of the human beings who live here.

5- We also call all the churches in the whole world to stand fast in the face of what is going on and witness to their faith in the power of love in this world. It is necessary to take steps that reflect their refusal to all kinds of violence hitting the human beings living in the East.

6- We take the opportunity to call our partners in citizenship, from all islamic confessions, to stand hand in hand and work on refusing the misuse of man and deal with him as a product, a shield in the battles or a means for monetary or political bribery.

7- Finally we address the kidnappers and tell them that those whom they kidnapped are messengers of peace in this world. Their religious, social and national work witnesses for them. We call them to deal with this painful accident away from any tension that serves only the enemies of this country.

We pray the Lord in these blessed times so that this crisis quickly ends and that the souls of all our brothers and sisters regain their security and peace, so that our country enjoys the prosperity and peace it deserves.

Patriarch Jhon X Yazigi
Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas

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6 Responses to “Joint Communique Of The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Of Antioch and all the East And The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East”

  1. antgaria Says:

    A couple of days ago, there was news that the bishops were released. I was so happy! But then I looked into it at the Syriac Diocese website {http://syrianorthodoxchurch.org/} and found that it was not so. I don’t know where the misinformation originated from. But they still need our prayers.

  2. antgaria Says:

    For those that do not know the situation, the website has a summary – http://syrianorthodoxchurch.org/news/2013/04/25/a-petition-for-our-bishops:

    As many of you are already aware, we are saddened to report the kidnapping of His Eminence Mor Gregorious Yuhanna Ibrahim, Archbishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo, Syria by an unknown armed group. Also kidnapped, along with Archbishop Yuhanna Ibrahim, was Archbishop Bolous Yazejy of the Greek Orthodox Church of Aleppo. The Archbishops were en route to Kafr Dael, a relatively small village in the outskirts of Aleppo doing humanitarian work and their pastoral duties in securing the release of two priests who were kidnapped earlier this year. Both Archbishops were abducted from their vehicle and have not been seen or heard from since.

  3. Ian Climacus Says:

    Remember, O Lord, our brethren who are in captivity and deliver them from every misfortune. Lord, have mercy.

    Like you, I had also heard earlier this week that they were released; I looked a few hours later and it was updated to say they were not released.

    I was reminded of them again today as I read the Epistle reading appointed today for us Eastern Orthodox:
    Remember the prisoners as if chained with them-those who are mistreated-since you yourselves are in the body also. [Hebrews 13:3].

  4. antgaria Says:

    Very appropriate reminder from the Epistle… Thank you.

  5. antgaria Says:

    Prayers still needed. No words still about the location of the Bishops… http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=27859&sendtofriend=10570

  6. antgaria Says:

    I read a Middle Eastern report on the plight of the Christians in Syria. Prayers are still needed… and the bishops are still not heard from. “How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name for ever?”

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