|Archbishop Boulos Yazigi and Archbishop Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim|
According to MalankaraSyriacVoice relaying a report from Al-HadathNews, Archbishop Boulos was visiting on the Turkish side of his diocese (which stretches from Aleppo to Antioch in Turkey). Mor Gregorios had taken him in his car and on their way back to Aleppo they were abducted. Mor Gregorios' driver, a priest serving as chaplain, was killed and thrown out of the vehicle. The two Archbishops are said to be unharmed, but the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch is not making an official announcement until the morning of the 23rd April, when more details are to hand. But an initial report has now been carried by Al-Jazeera English channel.
Archbishop Boulos is the brother of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude John X Yazigi.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the kidnappers may be foreigners, possible Chechens.
Aleppo is renowned as a city where the different Christian Churches - Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Latins and Protestants - as well as Muslims, Jews and other minorities, coexist in harmony and mutual love. The internationally used materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2004 were jointly prepared by the Churches of Aleppo together.
Mor Gregorios is a friend to the Centre for Eastern Christianity at Heythrop College in London, with which the Society works closely. Only in the early part of 2012 was he at the Centre to give a lecture on the situation for Christians in Syria and the wider Middle East.
Please pray for Sayedna Boulos and Abuna Mor Gregorios in their hour of trial. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mor Gregorios' driver in heaven, who has called upon to give his life in service of the Lord and his Church on earth.