CMEP Condemns Abduction of Syrian Bishops

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) -- a coalition of 25 Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant national church groups -- has strongly condemned the kidnappings on April 22 of two Orthodox Bishops near Aleppo, Syria.

The kidnapping of Syriac Metropolitan Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim  and Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop Paul Yazigi  took place in the village of Kfar Dael in northern Syria. Their driver, Fatha'Allah Kabboud, a Syriac Orthodox Deacon, was killed in the kidnapping.

Both Metropolitans are known for their humanitarian work on behalf of Orthodox Christian Charities and for preaching tolerance.

This shameless assault on clergy crosses a new line in the deteriorating situation in Syria, with its rich history of interreligious culture.

CMEP calls for the immediate and unconditional release of these Bishops.

It urges all parties in Syria to respect and protect all those working for humanitarian relief at this very difficult time. CMEP also urges all Syrians to work for a sustainable peace that is inclusive and respects all religious and ethnic groups.