Message from Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the West.
Beloved in Christ:
Greetings and blessings in the Name of our Lord.
As we gather together with our parish communities this week to celebrate the beautiful services of Great and Holy Week, we continue to be grieved by the abduction of two Orthodox Hierarchs in Syria last week.
Below is the link to an appeal to President Obama and his government for the release of two Orthodox Christian Metropolitans, namely Metropolitan Paul Yazigi (the brother of His Beatitude, Patriarch JOHN X) and Metropolitan Youhanna Ibrahim who were abducted by armed rebels on April 23, 2013 in the suburbs of Aleppo, Syria. The driver of the Archbishops was murdered and the Archbishops were forced by the rebels to go to an unknown location either in Syria or in Turkey.
We appeal to you beloved in Christ and peace loving people to sign this petition urgently asking the American administration to use all its influence for the release of these two Archbishops and to bring a peaceful settlement to this bloodletting Syrian conflict through a negotiated settlement.
I urge all of you to not only sign this petition, but to forward this link to everyone you know so that we can show our unity in North America against such acts of violence especially in the murder of an innocent deacon and in keeping these two hierarchs away from their flocks during Great and Holy Week.
Asking for your continued prayers for their safe release, and wishing you a blessed and glorious Pascha, I remain in His Service,
+ Archbishop Joseph