SYRIA: PATRIARCHS OF ANTIOCH AND MOSCOW ASK TO FREE HOSTAGES

The umpteenth heart-felt appeal for peace in Syria, for the immediate ceasefire and the release of all the Christians held hostage for months: for the two bishops of Aleppo, the metropolitan Paul Yazigy and Youhanna Ibrahim, and the sisters of the Convent of St Thecla abducted in the ancient Christian city of Maaloula. The appeal was made yesterday from Moscow by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all East, John X, and the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, who signed a joint appeal to the members of the International Conference for Peace in Syria that is taking place in Switzerland over these days. Patriarch John X Yazigi is the brother of bishop Paul Yazigi, abducted in Syria. "Once again – the two patriarchs write –, we make an appeal for the immediate release of the Christians who have been held hostage in the armed conflict". "We call on the parties to show humanity and mercy and to give proof of their intention to follow the way of peace and prosperity in Syria". The message is addressed to the peace conference. "We make our ardent appeal to the participants in the meeting. We ask them to make every possible effort to stop the bloodshed and rebuild peace in the blessed Syrian land".

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