His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in a prayer night on the occasion of the five-year commemoration of the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi.
The prayer took place at St. Elias Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Aleppo, and included prayers for peace and for the safe return of the two abducted Archbishops as well as all the abducted people. Chants were also performed by Mr. Gabriel Abdelnour.
In his word, His Holiness thanked the faithful of Aleppo for their steadfast love and loyalty towards their abducted shepherds; he said: “I wanted to be with you today on this 5-year commemoration to pray together for the return of the two Archbishops and all the kidnapped people.” He considered that “the Archbishops have served Aleppo without discrimination, and they have paid the price of their love, and were abducted while completing a humanitarian mission”. His Holiness added that “their abduction and expulsion cannot be reduced to personal level. It is against all Syrians and aims to justify the establishment of a country with a single religion.”
“However”, he said “the kidnappers did not succeed, because Syria will remain one with its values and the love of its people”.
His Holiness added that “we miss the two Archbishops, but we have faith that they will return to us safe”. He pointed out that “we have made and will continue to make all efforts to ensure their return; and we will pray unceasingly because we are children of hope.”
His Holiness concluded saying that “their return is soon, and I believe that this prayer is heard because it comes out from the heart of all faithful”.
The prayer was also attended by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama and Tartous, and Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, as well as Very Rev. Raban Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Delegate in Aleppo and Environs.