HIS BEATITUDE JOHN X
PATRIARCH OF GREAT ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
Your Beatitude, Beloved Brother and Concelebrant at God's Altar,
With deep pain in my heart, I have learned about the tragic event in the north of Syria - two Christian leaders of Aleppo were taken hostage - Metropolitan Boulos of Aleppo, Your Beatitude's brother, a respected hierarch of the Orthodox Church of Antioch, and Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
I regard this abduction as a grave crime directed against people of faith, God's servants whose lips have been only proclaiming words of prayers and calls to peace and brotherly love. It is tragic that such things happen in the land of Syria where religious figures traditionally used to enjoy great respect.
I express my sympathy to the Syrian people, the Orthodox Church of Antioch and to Your Beatitude.
I am doing my best for the release of the abducted hierarchs. I pray to God to save them untouched and return them to their suffering flock as soon as possible. May the Lord strengthen you in these trials and establish peace in the Syrian land.
With brotherly love in the Lord,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
April 23, 2013