Assyrian Christians Abducted
Please pray for Christians who were abducted by militants of the self-declared Islamic State (IS) in northeastern Syria on Monday, February 23rd.
Some sources report that more than 200 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, were seized after their village was overtaken by IS militants. Thousands of Assyrian Christians live in a string of villages on both sides of the Khabur River, north of the city of Hassaka. It is unclear exactly how many people the militants abducted, but reports state that at least 72 families were abducted.
The advance of IS has forced thousands of inhabitants of the villages to flee to the bigger cities. The abducted Christians come mainly from the village of Tal Shamiram. Sources say that IS claimed the following day on their radio station that they have detained “tens of crusaders.” More than a thousand families are said to be displaced since the assault on the over 30 villages on the riverside began. It is not clear what IS intends to do with the people they took hostage.
Pray for the abducted Christians; that they will put their trust in the Lord and will be comforted by His presence. Pray for their families, and for the thousands who have fled their homes as refugees.
Father, we do pray for these Christians who have been taken from their villages; Christians who, like us, have heard terrible accounts of what IS has done to Christians and other victims of their fanaticism. We pray for Your peace to embrace them; a peace we cannot even fathom in such circumstances; a peace only You can give. We pray that You will make Your presence known to them in tangible ways and that Your Spirit will direct and empower them to be faithful to Christ no matter what happens. We pray for their families and for the thousands who have fled; that You will comfort and protect them. We pray even for their captors; that You will soften their hearts toward their victims and that You will turn their hearts toward Your Son. You have drawn us into the miracle of saving faith; increase our faith, Father, that You can do the same for members of IS and that You can raise up a mighty church in Syria to worship and praise You. In the name of Jesus, who is growing His church out of the ashes of spiritual darkness, Amen.