Thursday, 25 April 2013

Orthodox Bishops Kidnapped in Syria

According to the Vatican Insider, the kidnapping of two Orthodox Bishops in Syria was attributed to Chechen jihadists in retaliation for the killing of one of the Boston bombing suspects.
The kidnapping of the two Syrian Orthodox archbishops in Syria is an act of retaliation on the part of terrorist Chechen jihadists who are fighting with anti-Assad rebels over the killing of one of two Chechens responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings and the arrest of the other, by U.S. police forces, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported this morning.

Unless of course it was pro Assad agents...
Yesterday, the leaders of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces in exile stated that following a local inquiry, the prelates were kidnapped by someone close to the Assad regime. Bishop Ibrahim had recently quite clearly distanced himself from the Damascus regime.

According to another news agency, quoting sources in the Syrian Orthodox Church, they were kidnapped by Chechen terrorists belonging to Jabhat an Nusra which apparently has Al Qaida links.

That's just about everybody in the region, and some that are quite far away. Why would anyone kidnap an Orthodox bishop in reaction to the Boston bombing? You got me... unless it was strictly PR. Let me tell you what I think. The Christians in Syria are caught between a rock and a hard place. While they are not particularly fond of the Assad regime they are also not willing to take up arms alongside the rebels. Since it is quite impossible to stay neutral in a conflict that has degenerated as far as that in Syria, these Christians are fair game for anyone who comes along. The Christians in Syria, along with their kidnapped shepherds, are innocent victims in this war. The blame game is a particularly useless exercise in this situation.

I remember reading some time ago about the religious freedom issue in various countries in the middle east. While countries like Saudi Arabia came out on the bottom of the list, there were two counties that were listed as having relatively more freedom. In Iraq and Syria it was possible for Christians to openly practice their faith in relative peace, though not without some difficulty. Since the Iraqi war, the Chaldean churches have hemorrhaged from persecution and emigration. More than half of Iraqi Christians have left the country to escape persecution. In Syria, Christians make up about 10% of the population. Now that the Syrian civil war is into its second year, much the same is likely to happen to the various Syrian churches. As Sancho said to Don Quixote, "Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone it's going to be bad for the pitcher." These communities are very fragile and they need our prayers. The ancient See of Antioch, cradle of Christianity, will fall.

Pray for our brothers and sisters caught in these horrific wars.

 Kidnapping of Syrian bishops by Chechen jihadists was an act of retaliation

This just in...
 Syrian bishop: money, not religion, is motivating force behind kidnappings

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has told the Fides news agency that money, rather than religion, is motivating those who have kidnapped Christians.
The Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo were recently kidnapped by Syrian rebels.
“These same Islamic groups are not sincere, they are fanatics who use religion and have the sole purpose of making money,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, SJ, who recounted:
Another priest kidnapped in the south, Father Hasan, was released after 11 days, when relatives collected, with difficulty, $100,000. Before being released he told the torturers: 'I forgive you all, and if I did something wrong, I beg your pardon.' At that point, the emir, that is to say the leader of the group, began to blaspheme Allah.


Barona said...

The Iraq war pretty much finished off the Christian community there... then Syria.... Egypt... Lebanon.

This all seems like a Jihadist's "barber shop": next please.

Freyr said...

Check the post again... seems these characters might have more in common with Somali pirates than Jihadis.

Barona said...

I am referring to the general Middle East situation... are the Solami pirates Lutherans?

Freyr said...

There are at least three different explanations for the kidnappings, all of them mutually contradictory and all of them from people closer to the situation than we are. Somali pirates operate on a COD pay your money and you get your people or ship back. I rather doubt they are Lutheran...

Barona said...

Bishop Audo seems to be saying that they are Islamist "fanatics" motivated by money.... so there "being" is Islamist", their "action" greed.