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Syria: WCC, appeal for the release of the two archbishops of Aleppo kidnapped 5 years ago

At the meeting of 15-21 June, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) made a statement, in which it insisted on its serious concerns for the alarming and quickly deteriorating situation of Christians in the Middle East. The Central Committee asked for the release of two Syrian archbishops, the Syrian Orthodox Yohanna Ibrahim and the Greek Orthodox Paul Yazigi, kidnapped near Aleppo, in Syria, by some armed men in April 2013, as they were going from the Turkish border back home to Aleppo. The Central Committee “sadly remembers the abduction of the archbishops of Aleppo, Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, five years ago”, the notice reads. “We will keep praying that they may safely go back to their churches, to their communities and to their families, as a sign of hope for all the Christians in Syria and in the region”, the notice goes on. In addition, the notice says that “a new social contract is required all over the region of the Middle East – a common narrative developed and shared by all the communities of the region’s countries, based on an inclusive, constitutionally-protected understanding of citizenship and human rights, under which all the churches and communities of faith, with their own ethnic, religious and cultural identities, may live long and prosper in the love and grace given by God to everyone”.

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