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Al-Rahi Calls from Sao Paolo for Release of Bishops in Syria: Lebanese Holding onto Coexistence

Al-Rahi Calls from Sao Paolo for Release of Bishops in Syria: Lebanese Holding onto Coexistence

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi stressed that the Lebanese are people of “peace and not war,” saying that they are holding onto coexistence, reiterating calls for the release of two bishops who were kidnapped in Syria last month.

Al-Rahi during his visit to Sao Paolo, Brazil as part of his ongoing tour of South America, said that Lebanese are molded together as they are holding onto coexistence and living together in their country.

The Patriarch kicked off his South America tour in mid-April with a visit to Argentina.

On Monday, he headed a mass at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Brazil, appealing for the release of Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped in Syria on April 22.

Al-Rahi reiterated his calls for the release of the bishops, describing the abduction as a “crime against humanity.”

He urged the international community to exert efforts to free the two bishops.

The two men were kidnapped en route from the Turkish border, when armed men intercepted the car they were in, forcing them out of the vehicle.

Christians account for around five percent of Syria's population, and have become increasingly vulnerable to attack and abductions in the lawlessness that has engulfed much of the country since March 2011.


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