By Carey Lodge, Christian Today.
Founder of campaign group A Demand for Action (ADFA) Nuri Kino confirmed that those missing are all from the Syriac Orthodox or Syriac Catholic churches, and the number known to have been taken is steadily increasing.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the kidnapping took place during heavy clashes between ISIS militants and government forces in the town of Al Quaryatayn this week, which ISIS has now taken. It is the group’s biggest capture since taking Palmyra in May.
Those abducted include 45 women, 19 children and 11 families, SOHR said. Sources told the monitor that they were chosen according to name lists held by ISIS, and some were taken from the Mar Elian monastery, from which Syriac Catholic monk Father Yacoub Murad and Botros Hanna, a church volunteer, were kidnapped by masked militants in May. Their whereabouts is still unknown.
Speaking to Christian Today, Kino said it is difficult to say what exactly has happened, but relatives have been unable to reach those held by phone.