The news of today’s abduction of two Christian metropolitan archbishops of Aleppo, the Syrian Orthodox Mor Gregorios Yuhanna Ibrahim and the Greek Orthodox Boulos Yaziji (here in English, here in Arabic), is yet another loss for the Syrian people. Mor Grigorios Yuhanna Ibrahim has been a voice for peace and stability in Aleppo since his appointment as metropolitan there in 1979. During the present crisis in Syria, Mor Yuhanna has advocated the need for a cessation of hostilities and a return to civil society and a political solution to the current problems. His argument is based on the need to protect minorities, religious and ethnic, and the horrible consequences of ignoring his call are all too evident in the disappearance of these two leaders of a Middle Eastern population which many outsiders do not even know exists.
The identity of the group responsible for the abduction is not yet clear amid the broad speculations circulating. We hope for these bishops’ swift release, for their own sake, for the sake of their flocks, and for the sake of the Syrian people.