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Syrian bishops who warned of religious intolerance kidnapped
Two well-known bishops in Syria who had issued repeated warnings to church and political officials about the nation’s religious intolerance were kidnapped Monday by armed rebel fighters in Aleppo.
Their driver was killed, the Vatican Press Office reported on Tuesday.
Reuters reported that the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, were captured by a group of terrorists as they were “carrying out humanitarian work,” Syria’s news agancy said.
The pope “is following developments with deep participation and intense prayer for their well-being and liberation,” Frederico Lombardi said, in the Inquirer. On Vatican Radio, Mr. Lombardi also said the kidnappings show a “dramatic confirmation of the tragic situation in which the Syrian population and the Christian communities in Syria are living.”
Christians comprise less than 10 percent of Syria’s 23 million people. The bishops are the highest-ranking church officials — including those of Muslim faith — to be taken hostage in the past two years of conflict in the nation, Reuters reported.
It’s not known yet which rebel faction is responsible for the kidnappings, Reuters reported.
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About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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