Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim were kidnapped on April 22, while they were passing from the Turkish border on their way to Aleppo.
The Lebanese website dailystar reported that the Acting President of the Syrian National Coalition George Sabra said by telephone to Kataeb Party leader Amin Gemayel, who was in a meeting with Syriac Orthodox Bishops with a delegation in Beirut, that the two clerics are being held by a small rebel group in Bshaqtin, a small village 20 kilometers northwest of Aleppo and are okay.
The meeting was held at the Kataeb Party’s headquarters in Saifi and was attended by Mount Lebanon’s Syriac Orthodox Bishop George Saliba, Beirut Bishop Daniel Koriyeh, Syriac League President Habib Efram and Deputy Bishop of Aleppo Joseph Shabo. Bishop Saliba also spoke to the Syrian opposition leader over the phone and urged him to act in order to secure the release of the abducted Archbishops.
Gemayel reportedly said during the meeting that the abduction of the Archbishops is a bad message for the Christian communities of Syria, while Bishop Saliba said that it will provoke fear if they were not released: “I don’t know whether the Christians would leave the region because of this or stay and react to this kidnapping in a way that we do not want.”