(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Pray for the grieving families
of these three men.
Photo: AINA

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that three Christians, who were part of a large group held captive by Islamic State (ISIS) earlier this year, have been executed. The terrorist group released a video about a week ago showing Dr. Abdelmassih Enwiya, Bassam Issa Michael and Assur Rustam Abraham wearing orange jumpsuits. A Syrian evangelical leader paid tribute to the three martyred Christians, describing the doctor as "a great man of God who took a risk by staying in his village to take care of his people and encourage them in the Lord."

The men had been held since February when ISIS abducted over 230 Christians following dawn raids on their settlements in the northeast of Syria. While the group has periodically released elderly prisoners, more than 200 people are remaining in captivity. According to news reports, ISIS is demanding ransoms of around $50,000 per hostage for the release of each prisoner, threatening to execute remaining hostages if their ransoms are not paid.

Syrian Christians have been targeted by militant Islamist jihadi groups since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, resulting in numerous believers being killed or forced to flee their homes. In many cases, those who have remained -- often the elderly and disabled -- have been ordered to either convert to Islam or pay a religious tax (referred to as "jizya"). In March, a total of 23 Christians were released after paying the religious tax. For additional reports revealing the extremely trying conditions facing believers in this part of the world, go to the Syria Country Report.

Please uphold those who have tragically lost loved ones at the hands of ISIS, asking that they be greatly comforted and filled with joy at the prospect of seeing them again at the coming of our Lord Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Pray for an end to the violence perpetrated by members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Ask God to also minister comfort and protection to the remaining hostages, in response to their pleas for help and deliverance from their captors. May the militants responsible for the murder and abduction of multitudes of innocent civilians be convicted of their sin, turning to the Lord for mercy, forgiveness and salvation.

Country Information

20,384,316 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Arab (50), Alawite (15) Kurd (10), Levantine (10) other (15)

Religion (%)
Islam (87), Christianity (10), Druze (3)

President Bashar al-Asad (2000)

Government type
Presidential republic; highly authoritarian regime

Legal system
Mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law (for family courts)

Ssource: CIA World Factbook.

Pray for Syria

Pray that the Lord of hosts will intervene in Syria to "preserve all who love Him" and "frustrate the way of the wicked" (Psalm 145:20; Psalm 146:9). Ask that the Spirit of God will subvert the rebellion of the militant groups so the "will for peace" shall indeed prevail over "the will for war." May the Lord provide for Syria's churches, ensuring that they are adequately equipped with the necessary ministry tools, resources and workers to continue faithfully serving and ministering as lights in the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16).


Select a Region

Syria News

  • Christian Refuses to Turn Over Christian School
    Rockets launched by the Sham Legion - Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agenc
    The Sham Legion is a group of 19
    Islamist rebel groups in Syria.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Qasioun News Agency (cc)

    Radwan Muhammad is a Kurdish teacher and headmaster for a Christian school in the city of Afrin in northern Syria. He was ordered by the Sham Legion (Faylaq al-Sham) -- a coalition of Sunni

  • Christians Blocked from Refugee Camps
    Refugee Camp
    Refugee camp
    Photo: Voice of America

    Christians who have fled war-ravaged areas of Syria are facing continued persecution while trying to seek refuge in camps set up in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere. A substantial number of them are being blocked by United Nations officials when attempting to enter

  • Christians At Risk
    Hovsep Bedoyan
    Church leader Hovsep Bedoyan
    Photo: Middle East Concern /
    Middle East Council of Churches

    When American troops pulled out of Syria, and Turkish troops moved in to establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, there were understandable concerns about the safety of the people living in this area. Turkis

  • Turkish Offensive Raises Concerns for Christians
    Devastation from the war in Syria.

    As the Turkish military, along with allied Syrian rebels, continue their operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, Christian communities are concerned about the repercussions that may follow. While the campaign is not religiously motivated, believers in the region face particular vulnerabi