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Miriam David Talya
Photo: AINA

Members of ISIS have recently released an Assyrian Christian girl, the last remaining hostage of a group that was abducted in northern Syria during February 2015. Miriam David Talya was originally supposed to be released on February 22nd of this year, along with 42 other hostages. (VOMC's previously posted report on the release of these hostages can be reviewed here.)

However, the militants ended up removing Miriam from the list of those freed, without notifying the leaders of the Assyrian Church of the East with whom they had been negotiating. Further negotiations then began which thankfully have resulted in her release on Easter Sunday. She arrived safely in her town of Tel Tamar later that day.

Miriam was among a large group (consisting of more than 200 Assyrians) that was abducted from villages along the Khabur River on February 23rd, 2015. At the time, ISIS militants undertook raids on a number of Assyrian villages near Tel Hmar, burning churches and forcing hundreds of families to flee.

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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