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Nineteen Assyrian Christians who were captured recently by members of the Islamic State (ISIS) militant group have thankfully been released. The believers were freed on March 1st. According to sources, an Islamic court may have ordered their release after "tax payments" were made on their behalf.

The released believers were seized along with more than 200 other Christians on February 23rd in Hassaka Governorate -- an area in which there are approximately 35 predominately Christian villages. During the assault, over a thousand Christians were forced to flee their homes to escape the militants. Grave concerns remain for the hundreds of Christ-followers who are still being held by ISIS.

Let us first thank the Lord for the safe release of these 19 Christians! Pray that He will now heal and restore each one of them after experiencing this horrifying ordeal. May the others who have been kidnapped also soon be released. Until that time, ask that their hearts be shielded from fear or doubt. Pray also that the abducted believers will serve as effective witnesses of the Gospel to their captors, so that many of the militants will come to know Jesus Christ as their own Saviour and Lord.

Country Information

Population
20,384,316 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (50), Alawite (15) Kurd (10), Levantine (10) other (15)

Religion (%)
Islam (87), Christianity (10), Druze (3)

Leader
President Bashar al-Asad (2000)

Government type
Presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law (for family courts)

Ssource: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Syria

Pray that the Lord of hosts will intervene in Syria to "preserve all who love Him" and "frustrate the way of the wicked" (Psalm 145:20; Psalm 146:9). Ask that the Spirit of God will subvert the rebellion of the militant groups so the "will for peace" shall indeed prevail over "the will for war." May the Lord provide for Syria's churches, ensuring that they are adequately equipped with the necessary ministry tools, resources and workers to continue faithfully serving and ministering as lights in the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16).

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