Khabab (Agenzia Fides) - "I can confirm that Father Antoine Boutros and his collaborator Said Al-Abdun, who have been missing since last Sunday, were actually stopped and seized by one of the several armed rebel groups that are in the area. Since their disappearance we have not received any news or demands from the kidnappers". This is what Mgr. Nicolas Antiba, Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Bosra and Hauran confirms to Agenzia Fides with regards to the hypothesis of the kidnapping, which circulated since the first hours after the disappearance of father Antoine and Said (see Fides 16/07/2015). The two, in a car, were traveling from the city of Shahba to Sama Hinadat, where father Antoine was supposed to celebrate Sunday mass.
Greek-Melkite priest Antoine Boutros, 50, married and father of a daughter, pastor of the Church of St. Philip the Apostle in the city of Shahba (50 miles south-east of Damascus), is also known for his charitable and humanitarian initiatives in the Syrian province of Suwayda, and for helping to maintain civil peace, committing himself in operations of mediation among the warring factions. "All twenty priests of the archdiocese are peacemakers, and always try to work for reconciliation and for the benefit of all, in the situation of suffering and pain experienced by the Syrian people", says Archbishop Antiba to Fides. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/07/2015)