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Assyrians Observe Easter in Unrest


Assyrians Observe Easter in Unrest

On Sunday Turkey's Assyrians observed the Easter in Mardin province with a sense of unrest due to the abduction of Pavlo Yaz?c? and Yuhhana Ibrahim - two Orthodox metropolitans in Syria who vanished on April 23. Photo credit: Ibrahim Sincar/AA

On Sunday Turkey's Assyrians observed the Easter in Mardin around a rite led by Diyarbak?r metropolitan Saliba Özmen and K?rklar Church Archbishop Gabriyel Akyüz.

The crowd read passages from the Bible and chanted in Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew and Assyrian.

"We are so sorry that we haven't heard from the abducted metropolitans yet," Saliba Özmen said. "We are observing this year's Easter in unrest. We are praying for the restoration of peace in the world. 

Pavlo Yaz?c?, Greek-Orthodox metropolitan of Aleppo-Antakya, and Yuhhana ?brahim Assyrian metropolitan of Aleppo were captured in Aleppo as they were crossing back to Turkish border. They have been missing since April 23. Earlier, some sources said they were released - rumors that turned out to be hoax.

"Officials tell us not to worry but..."

"Turkish diplomats confirmed that the abducted metropolitans are alive," Evgil Türker, Federation of Assyrian Associations of Turkey, told bianet.

"We are hoping that they are alive and will be released soon. Turkish diplomats say that they are alive. They are telling us not to worry but we are feeling uneasy since they have yet to be released.

"First, they said kidnappers were Chechen origin. Then they said it was Free Syria Army and lastly some dissident gangs. We don't know yet whether their motives are associated with exiling Assyrians and Christians out of the country. 

"?brahim Yuhanna is a worldwide known Assyrian figure. In his last statement, he had openly opposed the current regime in Syria because Assyrians have no more expectations from the regime. I guess this resented officials in Syria. We are considering every possibility." (NV/BM)



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