The remaining 43 Christians, who were taken hostage in Syria by Islamic State (IS) a year ago, have been released. All those abducted during IS raids on the predominantly Assyrian villages in northeastern Syria in February 2015, have now been accounted for.
The released Assyrian Christians were among a group of 230 who were abducted by IS, when IS raided 35 predominantly Assyrian villages in that region in February of last year. All of those abducted during the raids are now accounted for and almost all have been released; many in recent months following negotiations by church representatives. A video released by IS 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 their livelihood.
Please continue to pray for Christians from other places in Syria who were abducted during other incidents in the country. Pray that they will also be released soon and that they will continue to put their trust in God. Also pray for restoration for all the Christians who were recently released.