Владимиру Владимировичу Путину,
Президенту Российской Федерации
глубокоуважаемый Владимир Владимирович!
Русская Православная Церковь, не понаслышке знающая цену человеческой боли и страданиям, твердо стоит на позиции неприкосновенности священного дара жизни, недопустимости действий, направленных на запугивание и насилие в отношении мирного населения, в том числе и религиозных деятелей.
В связи с этим трагическим инцидентом обращаюсь к Вам с просьбой предпринять усилия в рамках имеющихся у Российского государства возможностей для скорейшего освобождения сирийских иерархов.
Пользуясь случаем, желаю Вам мира, доброго здравия и помощи Божией в ответственном государственном служении.
С глубоким уважением,
Патриарх Московский и всея Рус
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,
President of the Russian Federation
dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!
With a sense of great anxiety I am informing you that on April 22 this year, the bishop of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Aleppo Paul, was kdinapped by unknown persons. His car was attacked, and the deacon who was driving the hierarch killed. Metropolitan Paul is the brother of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, John X.
At the same time, the Syro-Jacobite Archbishop of Aleppo Mor Gregorious Yohanna Ibrahim (Syrian Orthodox Church) was kidnapped along with the Metropolitan. Both Archbishops were in an area outside Aleppo, observing the distribution of humanitarian aid.
The Russian Orthodox Church, knowing the price of human pain and suffering at first hand, is grounded on the principle of the inviolability of the sacred gift of life, and the inadmissibility of actions aimed at intimidation and violence against the civilian population, including religious leaders.
Accordingly, because of this tragic incident, I am writing to you to request that the measures, within the capacity available to the Russian state, be taken for the early release of Syrian bishops.
Taking this opportunity, I wish you peace, good health and God's help in your responsibilities of public service.
Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus
"The kidnapping of the two Metropolitan bishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Ibrahim of the Syriac Orthodox Church, and Paul Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and the killing of their driver whilst they were carrying out a humanitarian mission, is a dramatic confirmation of the tragic situation in which the Syrian population and the Christian communities in Syria are living. The Holy Father has been informed of this recent, extremely grave act, which comes on top of the increasing violence of the past days and a humanitarian emergency of enormous proportions. Pope Francis is following the events with deep participation and he is praying for the health and the liberation of the two kidnapped bishops. He is also praying so that, with the support and prayers of all, the Syrian people may finally see tangible responses to the humanitarian drama and real hopes of peace and reconciliation rise on the horizon."