Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hijacked South African clergy now safe in Cyprus

Johannesburg (News24) – Two South African priests onboard the Egypt flight that was hijacked this morning are now safe, the Greek Othodox Church confirmed on Tuesday.

Speaking to News24 on Tuesday Father Gerassimos Venturas from the church said Archbishop Damaskinos of Johannesburg and Pretoria and newly appointed Bishop Nicodimus Boulaksis were safe.

Venturas said the duo left Johannesburg last Monday for Egypt with Nicodemos ordained as a bishop last Sunday.

“We thank God that these men are now free. We always kept our faith and prayed for their freedom. We never gave up hope that God would keep them safe.”

Venturas said members of the church were taken aback by the news of the hijacking.

“We were in a big shock when we learnt they were on the same flight. But you can never lose hope in God and we are now thankful.”

According to Venturas, the men are now safely in Cyprus, Greece.

“I had chatted to them earlier and they were quite tired and needed to take a bit of a rest.”

He said the clergymen are expected back in South Africa later this week.

EgyptAir Flight MS181 was taken over after a passenger claimed to be wearing a suicide explosive belt.

Reports say the lone hijacker hoped to talk to his estranged wife in Cyprus.

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