The terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has apparently abducted dozens of Christians in Syria late last week.
Several sources from Syria reported that dozens of Christians were taken hostage by IS in the city of al-Quaryatayn. But the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported in a press statement it received from the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Homs that 250 Assyrians were captured by IS and they included women and children.
The city is located 62 miles southwest of the ancient city of Palmyra that was captured by IS earlier this year. IS confirmed the takeover of al-Quaryatayn that is populated by approximately 40,000 inhabitants, a mixed population of mainly Sunni Muslims and Christians.
More than 1,500 people have fled al-Quaryatayn since fighting began a week ago.
IS is also responsible for the kidnapping of more than 200 Assyrian Christians from the Khabur River region in northeastern Syria. They were taken hostage from their villages when they were overrun by Islamic terrorists at the end of February. Most of the hostages are still missing.
Syria is ranked #4 on Open Doors’ 2015 World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians. Approximately 4 million Syrians have left the country. Inside Syria there are 6.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). It is estimated that 700,000 Christians have left Syria since the war began over four years.
Pray for those who have been abducted and for their relatives. Pray for the other Christians remaining in al-Quaryatayn. Also continue to pray for the Christians who were abducted in February.
Open Doors continues to work with churches and Christian partners in Syria to provide food, clothing, medical supplies and trauma counseling. Help feed an entire family for a month for just $50.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.