2013-10-29 10:00:00

Abducted Syrian metropolitans are alive - supreme mufti of Syria

Moscow, October 29, Interfax - Sheikh Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun, Supreme Mufti of Syria, said he has information that the two Christian leaders of the Syrian city of Aleppo are alive.

"According to the mufti's information, they are in Turkey. He says Chechen militants and the Turkish special services associated with them are behind this abduction," Yelena Agapova, deputy chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society, told Interfax-Religion after meeting between representatives of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society and Hassoun in Moscow.

Agapova said the Syrian mufti believes the metropolitans' abduction could be linked to Turkey's requests for the transfer of the seat of the Antioch patriarchate from Syria to Turkey.

In April 2013, militants from the armed Syrian opposition kidnapped Metropolitan of Aleppo Paul, the brother of Patriarch of Antioch John X, and Metropolitan of Aleppo John Ibrahim. Their driver, a deacon, was killed. The metropolitans worked on resolving humanitarian problems in the village of Kafr Dael, which is located near the Syrian-Turkish border.