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Syrian bishop: money, not religion, is motivating force behind kidnappings

Catholic World News - April 25, 2013

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has told the Fides news agency that money, rather than religion, is motivating those who have kidnapped Christians.

The Greek Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo were recently kidnapped by Syrian rebels.

“These same Islamic groups are not sincere, they are fanatics who use religion and have the sole purpose of making money,” said Bishop Antoine Audo, SJ, who recounted:

Another priest kidnapped in the south, Father Hasan, was released after 11 days, when relatives collected, with difficulty, $100,000. Before being released he told the torturers: 'I forgive you all, and if I did something wrong, I beg your pardon.' At that point, the emir, that is to say the leader of the group, began to blaspheme Allah.

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