Gunmen Seize 2 Syria Bishops
Prominent Christian clerics abducted in rebel-held region
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2013 2:48 AM CDT
A church dome is seen through a convent window damaged by artillery fire in Syria.   (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman)

(Newser) – Unknown gunmen abducted two prominent Syrian bishops as they traveled through rebel-held territory from the Turkish border, according to both state media and the opposition leadership. Christians make up around 10% of Syria's population and the kidnapped pair—the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi—are the most prominent Christian clerics caught up in the country's civil war, the BBC reports. The kidnappings are reverberating through the Christian community, adds al Jazeera, and leaders consider the situation in Syria to be quickly deteriorating.

An opposition spokesman says "all probabilities are open" as to who may have seized the pair, reports Reuters, which notes that both men had warned that the Syrian conflict—and other Arab Spring uprisings—had the potential to destroy the Middle East's long history of religious diversity. "What is the spring without the diversity and richness of colors in comparison with the haze ... of winter?" Yazigi wrote earlier this year. "Diversity is richness while monochromatic uniformity is a ticking bomb that kills its owner."

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Corsica
Apr 23, 2013 8:17 AM CDT
Doesn't look good for the Bishops.
SgtUSAF
Apr 23, 2013 8:07 AM CDT
That corruption abounds in the United States is unquestionable. Show me a nation, any nation that doesn't share the same greed and lust for power and wealth? Difference is that here the people have the right to go to the polls and vote the current government out of power. While it grieves me that Pres. Obama was given another 4 years, I must support him as president. That in no way means I support the majority of his policies and as a U.S. citizen I am free to speak that disapproval publicly and without fear of reprisal. The USA stands for freedom including freedom for every individual to worship whatever or whomever they choose. As a nation it is our hope to see that freedom extended to people in all nations of the world. The only thing I see radical Islam doing is attempting to subjugate everyone and everything on this planet under it's doctrine of terror and tyranny. My prayer is that the peaceful, thoughtful members of the Islamic community will one day stand up and demand an end to the death and destruction radical Islam perpetuates. Much as I pray for my own nation that it's citizenry will stand up and demand a return to the values and beliefs we once held above all else.
1freeusa
Apr 23, 2013 6:12 AM CDT
islam hates everybody, maybe they should be classified a hate group instead of a religion....Quick Monsanto, hurry up with developing the islamicide and use it freely.