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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that three Christians, who were part of a group of 200 held captive by Islamic State (IS) since February, have been executed.

The terrorist group released a video on 8 October showing Dr Abdel-Maseeh Aniyah, Ashur Rustam Abraham and Bassam Issa Michael in orange jumpsuits.  The men were ordered to confirm their names before being shot dead. IS have threatened to execute the remaining hostages if their ransoms are not paid.

The men had been held since 24 February, when IS abducted 253 Assyrian Christians following dawn raids on their settlements in the northeast of Syria. While the group has periodically released elderly prisoners, reports indicate that 202 people remain in captivity. According to news reports, IS is demanding ransoms of around $50,000 per hostage for the release of each prisoner. In March, 23 Christians were released after paying a religious tax.

Syrian Christians have been targeted by militant Islamist jihadi groups since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, with many killed or forced to flee their homes. In many cases, those who have remained, often the elderly and disabled, have been ordered to either convert to Islam or pay a religious tax (jizya).

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Prayer Points

  • Pray that those who have lost loved ones will be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that they will see them again at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
  • Pray for the end of the reign of violence perpetrated by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
  • Ask the Lord to comfort the other hostages. Pray the Lord will hear their cries and deliver them from their captors.

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