The Community of Sant’Egidio has learned with sorrow of the kidnapping of the Metropolitans of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Aleppo and of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim and Mons. Paul Yazigi. The two archbishops were transporting humanitarian aid in the vicinity of Aleppo when they were kidnapped and their driver was killed.
The kidnapping was a sorrowful confirmation the escalation of violence besetting the Syrian people.
The Community of Sant’Egidio gathers in prayer for the safety of two friends and for many years companions on the path to peace and dialogue between worshippers of different cultures and religions in the Spirit of Assisi.
Mar Gregorios Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi have always worked undauntedly since the beginning of the conflict for the welfare of the population and peaceful coexistence in Syria, appealing several times to the international community not to leave Syria alone, to search for a political solution and to stop the military escalation. An appeal that the Community of Sant’Egidio has taken on as its own, seeking paths for a concrete relationship with the civilian population in Syria and surrounding countries and a political solution to the conflict.
The Community of Sant’Egidio beseeches the kidnappers of the two bishops not to deprive the Syrian population of their pastors, friends of all religious denominations in Syria. And appeals to the international community to take urgent measures to secure their release.
The Community of Sant’Egidio gathers at 20:30 tonight in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere for a prayer vigil led by Mons. Matteo Zuppi, auxiliary bishop of Rome, on behalf of the liberation of the two bishops.