Twenty-five Assyrian Christians who were captured by ISIS militants in February have been released.
According to the Christian Post, the recently released Christians were part of a group of over 250 Assyrian Christians who were captured from the Khabur river valley.
A group of ten elderly Christians from the same group were released on November 24, but even with the recent release of the 25 hostages, 130 Assyrians still remain captive.
Negotiations with ISIS have been ongoing since the capture of the 250 hostages. ISIS originally demanded $12 million in ransom, which the negotiators could not afford.
ISIS killed three of the hostages back in September, but negotiators are hopeful that the rest of the hostages will be released through further talks.
The recently released hostages include two young boys, one seven years old and one nine years old. All the hostages are reported to be in good health.
Father Jacques Murad, a Syrian priest who was held captive, said that the hostages were constantly questioned about their faith, but remained committed to God.
“They were faithful to the recitation of the rosary. This experience of trial strengthened the faith of everyone, including my faith as a priest. It is as if I have been born again.”
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Publication date: December 11, 2015