The nuns who were abducted last month from St. Thecla Orthodox Convent in the ancient Syrian city of Maaloula are fine, as stated on Saturday 25 by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch John Yazigi. According to The Daily Star there are ongoing negotiations in order for the nuns to be released.
“The nuns are very well. I personally talked to them over the phone some days ago at the patriarchate’s headquarters,” Yazigi stated before leaving Beirut for a papal visit to Russia. “They live in a house in Yabroud and they are in a good state but we don’t only want for them to be okay. We hope that they will be released soon, along with two bishops who were also abducted,” he added.
Thirteen nuns were abducted by Syrian rebels from their convent in Maaloula in December. It is believed that the rebels are holding the women in a Christian family’s home in Yabroud, Lebanon.
Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim were abducted on April 22 by armed men on their return to Aleppo, Syria from a humanitarian mission to Turkey. There has been no further information about the two men since then.
John Yazigi expressed his hope for the bishops’ well-being and said that he would discuss the two cases during his visit to Russia.
The Daily Star also claims that Major General Abbas Ibrahim, head of Lebanon’s General Security, is in negotiation with the abductors in the hope of resolving the case. Ibrahim has also been in contact with Qatari officials and are together working towards the release of the nuns and Syrian bishops.