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Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch
 Archdiocese of the Western United States





Life of Jesus







4th Anniversary of the Abduction Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim & Paulos Yaziji

April,21 2017

Dear Colleagues and friends

Re: Marking the 4th Anniversary of the Abduction Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim

As we reach the end of a third tragic year since the kidnapping of Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yaziji, the ecliptic impact of their occultation on their Aleppian Archdiocese and their mother churches and the unfolding intriguing mystery of the abduction saga are enough for an Oscar.
Understandably, a genre of Doubting Thomas reincarnates among Mor Gregorios’ disciples still endeavor to dose on some pseudo-comfort and escapism by propagating a jamboree of a pessimistic halo. To the contrary, as we are celebrating the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ and marking the 4th anniversary of the kidnapping of Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, all indications at hand are in support of optimism and assurance which deflate the pessimistic conscience.

Had Mor Gregorios been free to witness the unfolding events and injustices occurring at the moment, he would have definitely not let such a historical event pass without actively engaging and ethically investing his intellect, wisdom and knowledge in writing highly informed articles on the interlacing and reenactment of past, present and future events, focusing on how a sturdy faithful presence of his Church and its people was possible amidst all that! This article endeavors to fill a fraction of the gap in our knowledge of that tumultuous era and to driving a lesson of leadership wisdom, acumen and steady compass that the Syrian Orthodox Giant Patriarchs of the 20th century were blessed to exhibit in the absents of the international communities and humanitarian aids reliefs. With such a limitation of resources and abandunt of stead-fastidness, resolve, confidence, determinations, presence and personality they did not prance around heedlessly, but they spared no spiritual, moral or material efforts in shielding and stifling the plight and the Sayfophobia befealt their ethno-religiously cleansed communities and brought again the survivals to fruition in their new milieu.

The Mor Gregorios Cultural Legacy Foundation was established to uphold the spirit of Church leaders, to enable empirical research and intellectual pursuit to shed light on the past, and to extract vital lessons that can fine tune and calibrate the compasses of future Church leaderships which are increasingly getting absorbed by the forces of the digital age, where often rationality is easily retreated and surrendered and ends up driven helplessly by the dictations of anonymously pre-programmed GPSs.

Finally, as the constituencies of Mor Gregorios marking the 4th Aniversary of the kidnapping with the motto ENOUGHT INDIFFERANCE! The will not forget the matter and will not let anyone forget either. Moreover, they are fully aware of the current impasses in our Church and inspires for a peaceful solutions based on the wise discourse of Mor Gregorios (YouTube clips below).



Therefore, they wish on block to add their voice to the thousands of people who already patiently petitioned their appeal and the pray-fully silent majority of the Syrian Orthodox (who are the real and permanent body of the Church) in a collective popular swiping campaign to impress the Church leadership (the current executive custodians) into being wise, conscious, rational, plausible, sensible and far-sighted to avoid being the sole responsible in taking our Church and our identity to the brink, in what seems to be a unilateral reckless decision which cannot be without worrying fatal consequences.

In this day in age, there is no rational, logical or judicious reason for such a “Ananias’ Sanhedrinic trial” with a pre-intention for a fatal “Simpson Option” decision of such a magnitude to be taken with such consequences to further the destabilization of an already vulnerable and embattled Church. No one in our Church leadership (the current executive custodian) has been freely elected by the people with a majority vote. Therefore, democratically no body whatsoever has been mandated to unilaterally give orders to anybody, let alone to command enough authority to set or even preside on such a Sanhaedrinic Court. Authority in our Church should and must come with popular referendum, transparency and accountability. Whoever find themselves capable to stand for an election to a position of responsibility in our Church should be properly vetted and to present themselves to the people with a manifesto, program and public debate…etc. Currently, we have had none of this and it this no longer be tenable. Therefore, the people should and would rebuff and ignore any orders issued without their consent. Consequently, the current executive custodians are under obligation to put the poignant case in question to the people, the true body of the Church, in order to obtain a collective democratic referendum, mandated to accept or reject each and every decision taken so far. In such cases, only the people have the power to set a Praetorium and issue judgments. Otherwise, judgments taken unilaterally at whim by any other means are impaired.

Clearly, all collectively and democratically demand that our Church and our Identity remain as united and intact as the people (the true body of the Church) want it to be. Whoever eluded enough to have the free reign to tamper with the Church of Christ shall be forever held to the Divine Providence.

The essence of leadership is the fine and firm containment of any crisis!

Pontius Pilate, in spite of the subtle pressure by Ananias and Caiaphas, was his own man, astutely perceptive, rational, wise enough, and strong enough to risk exhibiting the right and responsible leadership at the right time, able and willing to retreat and wash his hands in public at the eleventh hour. That is why Pilate managed to enter history the way he did, leaving the rest to be condemned and crucified forever by history! Here is a lesson to the prudent.

The earthly tomb is now empty! Jesus has risen!
An important dogmatic event to us all and opportunity to wish you all a blessed Easter and Resurrection that gives hope to humanity and usher the end of suffering in the world, especially in the Middle East.
Please hold Mor Gregeorios in your fervent prayers.

Happy Easter.

Aziz Abdulnour


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The Western Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, providing spiritual guidance and leadership to the Syriac Orthodox community, is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization comprised of 18 churches and parishes in 17 western states. It was established in 1952 as the Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church encompassing the entire United States and Canada. In November 1995 by the Holy Synod, the Western Archdiocese was formed to exclusively serve the 17 states of the western half United States.

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