The past 12 years of war in Syria have had a tragic effect on the Christian population of Syria. As ICC uncovers more and more stories of the persecution endured by Syrian Christians from terrorism and conflict in the country over the past decade, great suffering becomes clear. For Christians in Syria during these years, they walked in the footsteps of their Master in the path of Calvary.
Meet Jacob, a 40-year-old man, who lived in a modest home with his wife and three daughters. Their bond was strong, and they cherished the moments spent together. Each day, the family gathered at the dining table. However, one fateful day, Jacob did not return home for lunch. The family anxiously waited, growing hungrier by the minute, unable to eat as they worried about his absence.
As time passed, fear crept into their minds. Had Jacob been in a traffic accident? Was he facing health issues, or perhaps he was hospitalized? The unanswered questions cast a shadow over the family, and the girls’ cries grew louder, echoing their concern for their missing father.
Then, the wife’s phone rang, displaying Jacob’s number. Relief quickly turned to confusion as a harsh voice on the other end asked, “Do you want your husband back?” A challenging question indeed. The wife, caught in an unimaginable situation, tried to suppress her emotions while engaging with her husband’s captor. The mysterious voice revealed that they were holding Jacob hostage, demanding a ransom of $10,000. The catch — she couldn’t involve anyone else, or they’d harm him.
Stunned by the exorbitant demand, the wife pleaded with the kidnapper to reconsider, but he remained firm. With no other options, she reluctantly agreed to their terms, under the condition that her husband wouldn’t be harmed. Desperate, she turned to the church for help, and with their support, she managed to gather the ransom.
When the kidnapper called again, she informed him that she was ready to pay. He provided a time and place for the money exchange but warned that she wouldn’t see her husband until after the transaction.
On the agreed day, the wife, filled with a mix of fear and hope, placed the money where instructed. Spotting a car by the roadside, she rushed towards it, longing to embrace her husband and reassure him of their love. However, her hope turned to horror as she discovered Jacob’s lifeless body in the car. The terrorists had taken his life through suffocation, using a rope around his neck.
Jacob’s tragic fate echoes that of numerous Christians who have been kidnapped, tortured, and killed due to their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. Despite their families’ efforts to ransom and rescue them, many never return alive. In a world where Christians seek only peace, the path often feels like a journey to Calvary, mirroring the crucifixion of their Lord, with the hope of rising on the Day of Resurrection.