While kidnapping residents from Christian villages in northeastern Syria, militants from the Islamic State burned down at least four Christian churches, according to the Assyrian International News Agency. The number of hostages taken from the Christian villages may be as high as 150, rather than the 90-100 originally reported, the AsiaNews service says. There are numerous unconfirmed reports that some hostages have been killed, some rapes committed, and "blood everywhere."

“A number of churches have been destroyed, including the church in Tel Hurmiz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, the Mar Bisho church in Tel Shamiran, the church in Qabr Shamiy and the church in Tel Baloua,” the agency reported.

Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, who heads an aid program for Christians in Iraq, told Aid to the Church in Need that roughly 100 Christians who had been abducted from the captured villages have been taken to another village. “They are alive so far,” he said, “but the men are separated from women and children.”

Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the vicar of the Latin-rite diocese of Aleppo, told the AsiaNews service: "This will not be be solved with bombs; cutting financial and military supplies will. What we ask is for others to stop supporting these people, to stop selling them weapons. We have been saying this for some time but no one has been listening to us."

 

Source: Catholic Culture Website

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