Munster – “War is not fought with war, but through dialogue, forgiveness, reconciliation, and the will to start a new life and follow new paths of peace”: said Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Butros Marayati, at the international meeting “Paths of Peace” organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio in Munster, Germany. As Fides learns, Marayati, who heads the Armenian community of Aleppo, a place which is symbol of the long Syrian conflict, recalled the other two Bishops of Aleppo, Siro-Orthodox Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Paul Yazigi, kidnapped on April 22, 2013, renewing an appeal for their release: “Aleppo awaits the return of its kidnapped Bishops and priests, awaits the end of war, hopes and trusts in the Lord”, he said.
Recalling the immense suffering of children, women, and refugees waiting for peace, Archbishop Marayati concluded: “Their cry is ‘never war again’ because war is always a useless massacre”.
The two metropolitan Bishops of Aleppo were kidnapped in the area between the Syrian metropolis and the border with Turkey. The car on which the two Bishops were traveling was blocked by the group of kidnappers and the driver was killed cold-bloodedly. Since then, no group has claimed the kidnapping. After more than four years since their kidnapping, there is no reliable news on the fate of the two and very often the news given is unfounded.
In recent months, in a joint message, two Patriarchs of Antioch, Greek Orthodox Yohanna X and Siro Orthodox Mar Ignatios Aphrem II, have appealed to the international community to remember the two abducted metropolitans and take appropriate efforts to obtain their release.