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Kidnapping of 2 Archbishops a Stab in Syria's National Unity, Says Maronite Council

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  • The remains of St. Mary’s Church in Homs, Syria.
    (Photo: Barnabas Fund)
    The remains of St. Mary’s Church in Homs, Syria.
April 23, 2013|4:17 pm

Former Lebanese Minister Wadie el-Khazen, Head of the Public Maronite Council, rebuked the kidnapping of his brother, Aleppo Archbishop for the Greek Orthodox, Paul Yazigi, and Aleppo Archbishop for the Syriac Orthodox Church, John Ibrahim.

An unknown armed group kidnapped the two archbishops from the Aleppo countryside on Monday afternoon and there are unconfirmed reports that the kidnappers killed the driver of Archbishop Ibrahim.

Khazen described the kidnapping as a stab in the national unity that Syria had protected throughout history as a model for peaceful coexistence between religions.

Khazen said during the 1998 memorial of the massacre committed by Ottoman rulers against over a million Armenian martyrs that the importance of the Armenian sect could be seen in the historic ordeal they endured during World War I.

He added that the experience of the Armenians, who suffered a great deal from Ottoman injustices, is similar to what Lebanon has dealt with.

"On this occasion, we should express our appreciation to the souls of the Armenian martyrs, who hoped that our country would enjoy the peace that it deserves since the beginning of its history," Khazen said in a statement published by the National Agency for News.

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