Gli schiaffi di Obama alle mamme siriane
After Muslim rebels seize two priests in Aleppo, there are fears for their life
An Armenian Catholic priest, Fr Michael, and an Orthodox clergyman were abducted last Sunday in Aleppo's Christian neighbourhood. Sources speak to AsiaNews about barbarous murders carried out my Islamic extremists. A car bomb explodes at the Turkish-Syrian border crossing of Cilvegozu.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - A group of rebels close to Muslim extremists on Sunday abducted an Armenian Catholic priest, Fr Michael, as well as a yet unknown Orthodox clergyman. Both were working in Aleppo. Sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNewsthat the city's Christian community is very concerned about the attack. "Extremist violence is getting worse day by day. Muslim militias are killing anyone suspected of ties with the regime, including women and children. People in the neighbourhoods are comparing these days to the Ottoman conquest five centuries ago."
For several weeks, residents had complained about the presence of al-Nusra Front forces, Islamic extremists who want to turn Syria into an Islamic state, feared even by the rebel Free Syrian Army.
On 6 February, Front troops stormed the Christian neighbourhood of Jdeideh where extremists had already destroyed the city's main Evangelical church in November.
Al-Nusra forces include many foreigners, including Muslims from Indonesia and the Philippines, as evinced by a statement posted online by the leader of Abu Sayyaf, an extremist Muslim group with ties to al-Qaeda operating in the Philippines. In it, Muslims are urged to go to Syria and sacrifice their lives for Islam.
"These fighters live for killing and violence. They act without pity and make distinctions among people," sources said. "When they kill, they turn to God as if they were making a sacrifice."
Meanwhile, clashes between the military and rebel groups continue across Syria with more than 60,000 people killed so far.
Yesterday, a car bomb killed 13 people near the Turkish border, at a road block in Cilvegozu, a border crossing some 100 kilometres northwest of Aleppo, the main route of escape for Syrian refugees fleeing the war. It has been in rebel hands for several months. (S.C.)
Mystery shrouds alleged release of two Orthodox bishops
Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo Jean Clement Jeanbart, denies reports of the release of Msgr. Ibrahim and Msgr. Boulos al-Yaziji. The two were being held prisoners until last night
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - "Archbishop Ibrahim and Metropolitan Boulos al-Yaziji until last night were still in the hands of their kidnappers. Reports of their release yesterday afternoon were false." This is according to Msgr. Jean-Clement Jeanbart, Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, who emphasizes that the negotiations with the kidnappers are in progress, pointing out that at the moment "we know nothing" about their eventual release.
Reports have been circulating since yesterday about the alleged release of the two prelates. In the afternoon, all of the major news agencies and global networks had announced the release of the two bishops. The first to have leaked the news were journalists of Agence France Press (AFP), which quoted a statement by the Oeuvre d'Orient. They were followed by Reuters who also confirmed the release, citing Msgr. Tony Yaziji, bishop of the Greek orthodox church. Archbishop Jeanbart explains that "this news spread in Syria, resulting in great confusion." But for the moment there has been no official confirmation.
Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox bishop of the diocese of Aleppo and Boulos Yaziji, Greek orthodox Metropolitan of the diocese of the city, were abducted on the afternoon of April 22 in the village of Kafr Dael about 10 km from Aleppo. According to witnesses they were negotiating the release of two priests Fr. Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Fr. Maher Mahfouz (Greek-orthodox), seized in February and still in the hands of their kidnappers. On their return they ran into a roadblock set up by rebel militias, the car carrying the two bishops was surrounded by some armed men, perhaps Chechen jihadists, who opened fire on the vehicle, killing the driver deacon and seizing the prelates.
The kidnapping of the two prelates has rocked the Syrian Christian community, Orthodox and Catholic. Yesterday, the pope said in the statement that he "follows the events with deep participation and intense prayer for the wellbeing and the release of the two abducted bishops."
The two bishops of Aleppo still in kidnappers hands. The "dictatorship of the false information"
Negotiations with the kidnappers is ongoing, nothing yet known about the date of their alleged release. Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim, Syriac Orthodox bishop of the diocese of Aleppo and Msgr. Boulos Yaziji, were kidnapped on April 22, just 10 km from Aleppo, near the Turkish border. Greek-Melkite Bishop criticizes false information on the alleged release of prelates abounding in Western media. "Here there are men and women who risk their lives to affirm and tell the truth and and who resist bargaining with the rebels, religious groups, or regime."
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - The two Orthodox bishops seized last April 22 in Kafr Dael, 10 km from Aleppo, on the Turkish border are still in the hands of the kidnappers. Sources tell AsiaNews that the negotiations are ongoing, nothing is yet known about the date of their alleged release, or the identity of the kidnappers, probably Chechen jihadists.
Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the diocese of Aleppo and Greek orthodox Metropolitan Boulos Yaziji, of the diocese of the city, were negotiating the release of two priests Fr. Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Fr. Maher Mahfouz (Greek-orthodox), seized in February and still in the hands of the kidnappers.
These days all the churches in Aleppo, Catholic and Orthodox, are organizing prayer vigils and masses for the salvation of the two prelates, the first to be kidnapped in two years of civil war between the Bashar al-Assad regime and rebels.
Greek-Melkite archbishop Jean Clement Jeanbart, has told AsiaNews that over 1,000 faithful participate every afternoon at vigils for Msgr. Ibrahim and Msgr. Yaziji in his cathedral and have been unsettled by recent conflicting reports of their release. "These people - he said - depend on the information of Western media, the only ones who still have credibility in our country." However, for the prelate many international agencies prefer to rely on information provided by outside agencies instead of checking the facts on the ground, where the population is still able to communicate with the outside.
"For several months - he says - a dictatorship of" false information exists in Syria that creates confusion and false hopes. "" The Western media - the prelate continues - have a great responsibility cannot play with the lives and consciences of the people. There are men and women here who risk their lives to affirm and tell the truth and who will not stoop to bartering with religious groups or rebels or the regime. "For the bishop every Christian, especially if consecrated and a pastor, has the duty to witness to and follow the path of truth in this land troubled not only by bombs, but also by hatred fomented through the lies. (SC)