ASIA/HOLY LAND - The Syriac Orthodox Church: the arrest of Metropolitan Swerios is offensive and humiliating

Wednesday, 6 April 2016 justice

Bethlehem (Agenzia Fides) - The Syriac Orthodox Church considers the way the Palestinian police arrested Metropolitan Swerios Malki Murad, Patriarchal Vicar of the Holy Land "insulting". Such police custody – which took place on Saturday evening, April 2 and lasted a few hours - is "a humiliation for all the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church throughout the world". This is what the statement issued by the General Secretariat of the Syriac Orthodox Holy Synod reads, that met at the Monastery of Mor Jacob Baradaeus in Atchaneh, Lebanon, on 4 and 5 April.
The Patriarchate – reports the statement, sent to Agenzia Fides - expressed its "great dissatisfaction" with the way His Eminence was arrested. Similar judgments of disapproval of the actions carried out by the Palestinian police were also expressed by Palestinian Greek Orthodox Bishop Atallah Hanna, according to whom the treatment inflicted on the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan was "degrading, unjustified and unacceptable".
The Palestinian police (see Fides 04/04/2016) had arrested Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Swerios Malki Murad on Saturday evening, April 2, after a visit he made at the Palestinian village of al-Khader. The Metropolitan was released on bail after being subjected to a brief interrogation. The Palestinian judiciary have so far not provided any explanation on the reasons which led to the temporary arrest 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 by a Syriac Orthodox Christian woman. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/04/2016)