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Letter to John Kerry, Secretary of State - Kidnapping of Boulos Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim

The Honorable John Kerry

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

Washington, D.C.

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We write to express our grave concern over the kidnapping of Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, and Metropolitan Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Archbishop of Aleppo. The two Archbishops were abducted by unknown assailants while carrying out humanitarian work in the northern province of Aleppo on April 22, 2013. We mourn the murder of Fatha'Allah Kabboud, a deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church, who was serving as the Archbishops' driver at the time of their abduction.

We urge the State Department to make Metropolitan Yazigi and Metropolitan Ibrahim's immediate release and safe return to Aleppo a priority in our efforts in the region.

Metropolitan Yazigi and Metropolitan Ibrahim had previously made public pronouncements that religious tolerance and diversity was under threat from the two-year conflict in their country.

The kidnapping of Metropolitan Yazigi and Metropolitan Ibrahim reflects the troubling rise in abductions in Syria, the expanding chaos and brutality of the civil war that has killed more than 70,000 Syrians, and an increasingly dangerous environment for religious minorities.

As Members of Congress committed to religious freedom in the Middle East and around the world, we believe the United States must do everything it can to ensure that all the diverse religions and ethnicities of Syria have a safe future.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

The Honorable Brad Sherman

The Honorable Gus M. Bilirakis

The Honorable Carolyn Maloney

The Honorable John Sarbanes

The Honorable Trent Franks

The Honorable Mike Pompeo

The Honorable Eliot Engel

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.

The Honorable Joseph Crowley

The Honorable Peter King

The Honorable Chris Van Hollen

The Honorable Peter Roskam

The Honorable Darrell Issa

The Honorable Don Young

The Honorable Steve Israel

The Honorable Charles B. Rangel

The Honorable Walter Jones

The Honorable Chris Smith

The Honorable Carolyn McCarthy

The Honorable Nick J. Rahall, II

The Honorable Doug Lamborn

The Honorable James P. McGovern

The Honorable William Keating

The Honorable Jim Langevin

The Honorable Michael E. Capuano

The Honorable Albio Sires

The Honorable Mike Fitzpatrick

The Honorable Frank R. Wolf

The Honorable Gerald Connolly

The Honorable Peter DeFazio

The Honorable Bill Johnson

The Honorable Bill Foster

The Honorable Michael F. Doyle

The Honorable Anna Eshoo

The Honorable Justin Amash

The Honorable Jared Polis

The Honorable John A. Culberson

The Honorable Bill Huizenga

The Honorable Gary C. Peters

The Honorable Pete Olson

The Honorable Rick Larsen

The Honorable Steven Cohen

The Honorable Tim Huelskamp

The Honorable Tim Griffin

The Honorable Roger Williams

The Honorable Jim Bridenstine

The Honorable Tim Murphy

The Honorable Michael H. Michaud

The Honorable Matt Salmon

The Honorable Alan Nunnelee

The Honorable Bill Pascrell, Jr.

The Honorable Scott Garrett

The Honorable Gregg Harper

The Honorable Steven Palazzo

The Honorable Keith J. Rothfus

The Honorable Richard Hanna

The Honorable Joseph R. Pitts

The Honorable Kevin Cramer

The Honorable Andy Harris

The Honorable James Lankford

The Honorable Stephen Fincher

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky

The Honorable David N. Cicilline

The Honorable Chris Stewart

The Honorable Rush Holt

The Honorable Ted Deutch

The Honorable James P. Moran

The Honorable Leonard Lance

The Honorable Rodney Davis

The Honorable Joaquin Castro

The Honorable Grace Meng

The Honorable Lynn Jenkins


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