(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Assyrian hostages freed by
ISIS arrive in Tel Tamar, Syria.
Photo: AINA

Members of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group have released another 37 Assyrian Christians who had been kidnapped nine months ago. Those freed on November 7th -- including men and women in their 60s and 70s -- were among the 253 Christians snatched during ISIS attacks on Assyrian villages in Syria's northeastern Hasaka province. Thankfully, the newly released hostages arrived safely at the local town of Tel Tamar.

Negotiations to release the captives had taken place between the Assyrian Church of the East and ISIS. The terrorist group had previously demanded about $100,000 for each hostage. Further negotiations are understood to be "underway," sources report.

On October 7th, ISIS had released a video of its militants killing three Assyrian hostages, while threatening to kill more if demands were not met. The terrorist group is still holding captive an estimated 168 other Hasaka Christians, as well as 185 Assyrians who were abducted from the town of Qaryatain in western Syria's Homs province during the first week of August. Islamic State's countless acts of violence have particularly targeted religious minorities. Reported abuses include murders and sexual enslavement. For previous reports and informative video footage, go to the Syria Country Report.

Thank the Lord for delivering these believers from their captors, asking Him to make a way for many more victims to safely escape or be released. Pray that He will also minister complete physical, emotional and spiritual healing to each of the abducted Christians. May they have the grace and supernatural enabling to forgive and intercede on behalf of the terrorists who had restrained and possibly abused them. Ask the Lord to continue the great outpouring of His Spirit upon the inhabitants of both beleaguered nations -- Syria and Iraq -- so that there may be unprecedented church growth in the Middle East.

Country Information

20,384,316 (July 2021 est.)

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

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

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).


Select a Region

Syria News

  • Christian Refuses to Turn Over Christian School
    Rockets launched by the Sham Legion - Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agenc
    The Sham Legion is a group of 19
    Islamist rebel groups in Syria.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agency (cc)

    Radwan Muhammad is a Kurdish teacher and headmaster for a Christian school in the city of Afrin in northern Syria. He was ordered by the Sham Legion (Faylaq al-Sham) -- a coalition of Sunni

  • Christians Blocked from Refugee Camps
    Refugee Camp
    Refugee camp
    Photo: Voice of America

    Christians who have fled war-ravaged areas of Syria are facing continued persecution while trying to seek refuge in camps set up in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. A substantial number of them are being blocked by United Nations officials when attempting to enter

  • Christians At Risk
    Hovsep Bedoyan
    Church leader Hovsep Bedoyan
    Photo: Middle East Concern /
    Middle East Council of Churches

    When American troops pulled out of Syria, and Turkish troops moved in to establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, there were understandable concerns about the safety of the people living in this area. Turkis

  • Turkish Offensive Raises Concerns for Christians
    Devastation from the war in Syria.

    As the Turkish military, along with allied Syrian rebels, continue their operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, Christian communities are concerned about the repercussions that may follow. While the campaign is not religiously motivated, believers in the region face particular vulnerabi