ASIA/HOLY LAND - Syrian Orthodox Bishop stopped and released by the Palestinian police

Monday, 4 April 2016 local churches

Bethlehem (Agenzia Fides) - The Palestinian Police stopped Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan Swerios Malki Murad, the Patriarchal Vicar who leads the Syrian Orthodox Christian community present in Holy Land. The arrest took place on Saturday evening, April 2: according to local sources consulted by Fides, the Palestinian police stopped the convoy of cars that was accompaning the Patriarchal Vicar towards Jerusalem, after a visit he carried out at the Palestinian village of Al -Khader. Sources of the Palestinian diplomatic representation to the Holy See told Fides that the Metropolitan was released after being subjected to a brief interrogation. Palestinian court authorities have so far not provided any explanation on the reasons which led to the temporary custody of the Bishop. Rumors circulating on the web - and attributed to Basem Badawi, head of the Prosecutor of Bethlehem - refer to a complaint filed against the Metropolitan from a Syrian Orthodox Christian woman.
Meanwhile representatives of the local Syrian Orthodox communities had already appealed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, demanding the immediate release of Metropolitan Swerios. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 04/04/2016)