Bishops Abducted in Syria in 2013 Alive, Currently in Raqqa

According to preliminary data, Syrian bishops abducted in the vicinity of the country's northern city of Aleppo in 2013 are alive and currently in the city of Raqqa occupied by the Daesh militant group, a mother superior at the Monastery and Convent of Saint James the Mutilated, located in the western Syrian town of Qarah, said Wednesday.

In 2013, militants captured Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo Paul Yazidzhi and Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo John Ibrahim. In December 2015, reports emerged about their execution.

"We have received information from our sources that they are in Raqqa, and we are concerned over their lives. We are praying for their liberation before the final attack on Raqqa," Mother Agnes Mariam Salib said at a press conference.

She added that numerous Christian community members were also praying for the liberation of the two bishops.

Social protests against Damascus in 2011 have turned into a protracted civil war in the Middle Eastern nation that has already claimed thousands of lives. The conflict is also characterized by the stepping-up of activities of various radical Islamists, such as the Daesh (outlawed in many countries, including Russia and the United States), which gained notoriety for kidnapping and killing Christians, as well as worshipers from non-Sunni religious groups.

In July 2015, Pope Francis used the term "genocide" to describe the violence committed by extremists against Christians in the Middle East.

Source: Sputnik