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Two Orthodox bishops still captive, Christian neighbourhood shelled



Aleppo, 30 April 2013: The two Orthodox bishops kidnapped in Aleppo are still in the hands of kidnappers, Bishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart, Greek Melkite bishop of Aleppo, told AsiaNews on Monday. "The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are doing their best to mediate with the kidnappers," the prelate added, "but at present no one understands the reasons for this act and who is behind these criminals."

Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Syrian Orthodox bishop of the diocese of Aleppo, and Boulos Yaziji, Greek Orthodox archbishop of the diocese of the same city, were abducted on 22 April in Kafr Dael, ten km from Aleppo, on the Turkish border. Their driver, a Syrian Orthodox deacon, was killed.

On Monday morning, mortar rounds hit one of the city's main Christian neighbourhoods. The shelling killed four people and several houses have been destroyed.

"The situation in the city is terrible; no one is safe, not even the Christians," said Archbishop Jeanbart.

Christians have not taken sided with either the rebels or regime. "I do not know who fired at Christian homes or why," the prelate explained, "but it sure was not a ballistic mistake."

The bishop appealed again to the Western world. "Stop this war!" he said. "Help Syrian leaders choose dialogue and reconciliation over conflict and hatred!" (S.C.)

Source: AsiaNews




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