5 kidnapped Syrian Christians released by Islamists, others still held

October 28, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Syrian refugeesSyria, October 23, 2014: A church leader and four Christian women who were among around 21 believers kidnapped in north-west Syria earlier this month have been released by Islamist militants.

The four women were freed by Islamists from the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Nusra Front on 8 October after being held for three days. Hanna Jallouf, the captured church leader, was released on the following day.

Conflicting reports have emerged as to whether or not the other kidnapped Christians, who are thought to include children, are still being held.

The freed Christians do not appear to have been harmed. According to a senior church leader from Aleppo, the Islamists “did not ask the women who were released any questions”.

Since his release, Hanna Jallouf has been placed under house arrest in the village of Knayeh. Local sources told reporters that the church leader’s house arrest was ordered by an Islamic court.

The Christians were captured by the rebels in Knayeh on the night of Sunday 5 October. The village has been held by Islamist militants since 2013, initially by the extremely brutal group known as Islamic State and subsequently by the al-Nusra Front.

Many other Christians in Syria have been kidnapped since the start of the conflict in 2011.

The whereabouts of two Syrian archbishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boutros Yazigi, who were kidnapped in April 2013, remains unknown.

– barnabas team

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