“But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” Psalm 9:7-10
(CNN) ISIS has seized even more Assyrian Christian hostages after taking over nearly a dozen Assyrian villages in northeastern Syria in the past few days, an activist said Thursday.
The Sunni extremist group now holds 262 Assyrians captive, said Osama Edward, founder of the Assyrian Human Rights Network. “ISIS is taking over more and more Assyrian towns,” he said.
The number has climbed steadily, from an initial estimate of between 70 and 100 people seized on Monday to 150 as of Wednesday, with women, children and the elderly among them.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the number of Assyrian hostages seized over three days at 220, in a statement released Thursday.
They were taken from 11 villages in the Tal Tamer area in al-Hasakah Province, the monitoring group said. Its information indicates that ISIS has taken them to the Mount Abdelaziz area, southwest of Tal Tamer.
Edward, who is based in Sweden but has family in the area attacked by the terror group, said Wednesday his information was coming from the Assyrian Human Rights Network’s team on the ground.
Edward has said he fears the hostages may face the same fate as as Assyrians targeted in Iraq and the more than 20 members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority slaughtered by ISIS in Libya last month.
Besides those captured by ISIS militants, thousands of families have been forced to flee their homes, he said.
After years caught up in the middle of a civil war, many of these Assyrians lack food, water, blankets and other basics.
‘Burning Down Churches’
Sharlet and Romel David, in Modesto, California, told CNN affiliate KCRA that 12 of their family members in Syria are believed to be among those kidnapped by ISIS early on Monday, and they fear for their safety. “We pray, we pray all the time,” said Romel.
“What we’ve heard is it was like a sea of black uniforms marching through all the villages, burning down the churches, desecrating the crosses and wreaking havoc.”
ISIS Thugs Take A Hammer To Civilization: Priceless 3,000-Year-Old Artworks Smashed To Pieces In Minutes As Militants Destroy Mosul Museum
- Extremists used power drills and sledgehammers to smash ancient items
- They wrecked a series of 3,000-year-old statues at museum in Mosul, Iraq
- One vandal says items being destroyed because they promoted idolatry
- Comes after thugs destroyed thousands of books at Mosul Public Library
ISIS Has Begun Executing Captured Christians, According to Report
Islamic State militants have reportedly executed 15 Christians who have been captured in villages in northeastern Syria since Monday.
A priest who has been feeding reports to Christian aid agencies around the world, including Aleteia partner Aid to the Church in Need, said today that a Christian Assyrian lawyer in the city of Hassakah told him that about 15 young Assyrians “are martyred. Many of them were fighting to defend and protect the villages and families.”
Altogether, including civilians, as many as 350 Christians from the area have been captured, he reported—many more than the 70 originally reported. Their fate is unknown, and there is much speculation. He said that an unconfirmed report said that a mosque in the Arab Sunni village of Bab Alfaraj was calling people to attend a “mass killing of infidels in the mountain of Abdul Aziz on Friday.”
Please pray for the victims (and the perpetrators) of this evil cult, that God will save their souls.