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“Pray that all those who were abducted and have been released will know the Lord's comfort, healing and restoration.”
Assyrian Christians in Syria have been pleased to announce the release today (22nd February) of the remaining 43 Christians taken hostage by Daesh (so-called 'Islamic State') from villages along the Khabour River in Hassaka Governorate in February 2015.
Their release comes 1 day short of the anniversary of their abduction.
These 43 Christians were among more than 230 abducted when Daesh raided around 35 predominantly Assyrian villages. All of those abducted in those raids are now accounted for.
Almost all have been released, many in recent months following negotiations by church representatives. A video released by Daesh in early October 2015 showed the execution of three Assyrian Christians, two of whom had been from this group.
In a statement, the Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organisation thanked all who have stood with the Assyrians of Syria during the arduous 12 months of this ordeal. While rejoicing in the release of these hostages, they note the ongoing impact of the losses suffered by the Assyrian communities of Syria, including the destruction of livelihoods.
Assyrian Christians rejoice in the release of the remaining hostages from this group, Middle East Concern said. They request continued prayer that “all those who were abducted and have been released will know the Lord's comfort, healing and restoration, those displaced will know the Lord's care and provision, and be able to return to their homes soon.”
Prayer is also asked for “Christians from al-Qaryatain and other parts of Syria who remain abducted. That they will know the Lord's comfort and sustaining, and will be released soon, violence will cease, peace will be restored and the clear rule of law will be applied equally for all in Syria. Pray that those responsible for the murder and abduction of innocent civilians will know the Spirit's conviction of sin, seek the Father's forgiveness and find new life in the Son.”