Archbishop of Mount Lebanon Says Kidnapping of Clergy is 'Normal'

Syrian Orthodox Archbishop George Saliba of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli said that kidnapping of clergy has become "normal" since the events began in Iraq.

"Every day we hear news and rumors about the kidnapping of the two archbishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, and we do not believe any of them because all stories have turned out to be untrue," the archbishop said during an interview.

"We are waiting for the promises made to us regarding the issue of the two archbishops," Archbishop Saliba added. "No one knows what the party responsible for the kidnapping wants and it does not reveal itself. Archbishop Ibrahim's health condition is unstable."

The archbishop pointed out that the goal of kidnapping the two archbishops is to intimidate Christians and cast terror in the hearts of the people.

He noted that this incident has struck fear in the hearts of the people of Syria.

"Wherever they find a Christian they kill him and Christians and Muslims are afraid of the Salafi rule in the region, especially since Christians do not take up weapons," added Archbishop Saliba, who expressed fear of the rise of dictatorial and radical regimes.