Five people, including two nuns, who were kidnapped by ISIS have been released unharmed; the militants did not demand ransom money for their return.
The kidnap victims were missing for three weeks but are now safely in Dohuk, Iraq.
Sister Miskintah, Sister Utoor Joseph, Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba and Aram Sabah had been checking on an orphanage in Mosul when they were captured by militants. Other Chaldean nuns who operated the orphanage escaped.
Christian persecution in the region has increased as ISIS gained control of Iraqi cities Mosul, Baiji and Fallujah; thousands of Christian citizens have fled the area for safety.
In a meeting in Belgium, Louis Raphael Sako, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church said, “The next days will be very bad. If the situation does not change, Christians will be left with just a symbolic presence in Iraq. If they leave, their history is finished.”
At the same meeting, Bishop Youssif Mirkis of Kirkuk said, “Our presence was once a symbol of peace, but there’s so much panic, and few Christians see their future in Iraq.”
Publication date: July 16, 2014