Deal could see release of two bishops in Syria: Afram


11 October 2013; BEIRUT: A deal running in parallel with efforts to free the nine kidnapped Lebanese in Syria could see the release of two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Lebanon’s neighbor earlier this year, the head of the Syriac League told The Daily Star Friday.

“There are positive signs over an imminent release of the two bishops,” said Habib Afram.

“We were informed by [General Security chief] Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim that in parallel to the deal to free the Azaz hostages, there is a deal to secure the release of the bishops,” he said.

Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped on April 22 by armed men while en route to Aleppo from the Turkish border.

They are reportedly being held by a small group of rebels in the Syrian town of Bshaqtin, 20 kilometers northwest of Aleppo.

Afram said that the Turks, who are helping to resolve the case of the Lebanese hostages in Syria, informed Ibrahim that they were also working to secure the release of the two bishops.

“They said they [bishops] might be released before Eid al-Adha and they reassured us that they are fine,” he said.

A report published in An-Nahar daily Friday said the two bishops are scheduled to take part in a conference on Oct. 25 in the capital of Liechtenstein.

According to the daily, their inclusion on the list of guests lends support to reports the two prelates will be released soon.

Optimism has been high recently over the release of the nine Lebanese hostages who have been held in Syria for over 14 months.

A source close to the case said the nine could be released before the Eid al-Adha holiday next week.

Ibrahim, tasked with following up on the case, headed to Turkey Thursday night as part of his efforts to resolve the case of the Lebanese abductees.

Source: Daily Star


About SOCMNet

SOCMNet is an internet platform of Malankara Jacobite Syriac Christians (Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Church - under the Holy See of the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.). According to tradition, Christianity in India was established by St. Thomas, who arrived in Malankara (Kerala) from Edessa in A.D. 52. The Church in Malankara has had close ties with the Church in the Near East ever since. The ties between the Church in Malankara and the Near East formalized and strengthen by, when under the leadership of the merchant Thomas of Cana and 72 families (around 400 odd persons comprising men, women and children, reached Cragananore (Kodungalloore). The group consisted of the Bishop Mor Joseph of Edessa as well as some priests and deacons traveled and migrated to India and met Christians there by AD 345. The church in Malankara is an integral part of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antioch [His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas] as its supreme head. The local head of the church in Malankara is the Catholicose of India [His Beatitude Baselios Thomas I], ordained by and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch. The web sites in the SOCMNet are not official web sites of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Malankara, even though the Owners, Moderators and Webmasters owe allegiance to the hierarchy of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. However, opinions and responses of the Church leadership are posted here.
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One Response to Deal could see release of two bishops in Syria: Afram

  1. Rev.Fr.Jose Daniel Paitel says:

    Thank God. Let them be free soon.

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