Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Reverend Dr Ioan Sauca, expressed his joy at the installation of H.E. Mor Boutros Kassis, even as Sauca reiterated calls for the Syriac Archbishop’s release Orthodox Yohanna Ibrahim and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi, who were abducted by armed men on April 23, 2013 as they were returning from the Turkish border to their city of Aleppo.
“We pray for these bishops and for all those who have been unjustly detained and forcibly disappeared, silenced and forgotten, not only in Syria but throughout the Middle East,” Sauca said. “The archbishops are not forgotten; we continue to appeal for their safe return.
The 11th Assembly of the WCC declared that the global ecumenical community has always sought solidarity with Christians in the Middle East, who carry on an unbroken line of faithful Christian witness in their country, making vital contributions to the dynamic diversity and development of their societies.
“The upheavals, violent extremism using religion as justification, ongoing military occupations, discrimination and systematic human rights violations, economic crises and corruption, lack of rule of law and ‘Other factors have contributed to an existential crisis for all in the region,’ reads the statement.
Seeking justice and peace for all in the Middle East: declaration of the WCC 11th assembly