The AP reports here that ISIS terrorists have swept through Christian villages in Northern Syria kidnapping nearly 100 Christians.
The latest assault began before dawn on Monday, when the militants swept through the villages nestled along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province. The area is predominantly inhabited by Assyrians, an indigenous Christian people who trace their roots back to the ancient Mesopotamians.
During the raids, the militants took between 70 and 100 Assyrians captive, said Nuri Kino, the head of the activist group A Demand For Action, which focuses on religious minorities in the Middle East. He said some 3,000 people managed to flee the onslaught and have sought refuge in the cities of Hassakeh and Qamishli.
Kino said his organization based its information on conversations with villagers who fled the attack and their relatives.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the abductions, but put the number of Christians held by the Islamic State group at 90. The Observatory relies on a network of activists inside Syria.
Both activist groups said that most of the captives come from the village of Tal Shamiram, located some 85 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the provincial capital of Qamishli.
ZENIT has more information on the assault on Christian villagers here.
John Allen’s book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution chronicles the persecution of Christians around the world, and for Lent this year I will be writing about the persecution of Christians around the world.
Christians in the comfortable developed world need to be aware that Christians are being persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and slaughtered at unprecedented levels.
Our brothers and sisters are running for their lives. Their homes are being bombed. Their churches bulldozed. Their ancient monasteries ransacked as the ISIS wolves run amok.
Aid to the Church in Need is one charity you can support. They are doing something about it. They are running a campaign now to raise matching funds from a generous donor who has promised $500,000. You can go to their website to donate online here. Remember the need to give alms during Lent. I’ve made my Lent donation today. Can you?
Throughout Lent I’ll be highlighting the work of Aid to the Church in Need and Open Doors–the Christian charity that raises awareness of the suffering church.
During our own Lent this year lets walk with our brothers and sisters who are in a wilderness of suffering we can hardly imagine.
Go here to read my article at CRUX on the Apocalypse of Modern Martyrdom