the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the kidnapping of the Archbishops of Aleppo, Youhanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazig
x Church of Aleppo on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Today, 22nd April 2021, marks the 8th anniversary of the tragic kidnapping and disappearance of Metropolitan Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Aleppo, and Metropolitan Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodo
Eight years have passed, and the fate of the two Archbishops is remaining uncertain like in a dark tunnel. It is disturbed sometimes with a few contradictory rumours, launched by an unknown party, to raise the interest of the observers so that they may follow up this criminal act, which is condemned by all civil and religious laws.
Facing the painful silence of all the parties that were highlighted at the beginning as responsible for the kidnapping file despite evading to declare their connection with kidnapping and absenteeism, and the international community’s claim that all means of communication and mediation have been exhausted to reveal the fate of the two kidnapped archbishops along with all these obstacles and others; however, the gloomy picture is still in the memory of public opinion and all societies, regarding the fate of all other kidnapped persons, whether they are political activists or human rights defenders, or civil society figures and clerics.
From the foregoing, we as organizations and institutions signatories to this statement regret all this negligence on the part of the international community regarding the abduction of the two archbishops, for it cannot provide realistic and serious efforts for solving this humanitarian, societal and religious issue of political dimensions. At the same time, we affirm the unlawfulness of the disappearance of the archbishops under the yoke of forced detention for so long.
Reiterating the question, is it not time to unveil this important issue concerning the intentional and deliberate absence of two Christian and fair-minded figures in the Middle East? For how long will Archbishop Ibrahim and Archbishop Yazigi remain absent from their dioceses, people, families ,and love ones? Most importantly, they are absent from their spiritual, human and social mission to which they have devoted themselves. So we cry out for what remains of a universal conscience, to work hard to uncover the fate of the two metropolitans and return them to their people. Until that time, Archbishop Ibrahim and Archbishop Yazigi will live in the conscience of humanity. They will represent the cause of the Middle East Christians in the hope of their returning in peace to their people, churches and wounded homeland.
Also, we call on all Christian communities in Syria, the Middle East, North Africa and Diaspora to adhere to this issue and other urgent issues affecting the Christian presence in the whole East. We stress that positive interaction with this issue, which is considered a model for the tragedy of the Christians of the East, will bring this file and other pending issues to a fair end. At the same time, it will prohibit any other crimes against Christians in the future. On the other hand, silence and indifference towards these issues are grave crimes against our societies and our people before others.