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Syria: Christians kidnapped, in flight as Islamic State advances

August 11, 2015

Forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized al-Qaryatayn, a central Syrian town of 15,000, and kidnapped over 230 of the town’s residents.

Among those abducted were numerous Christians-- dozens according to Reuters, 150 according to the International Business Times.

Reacting to the kidnappings, Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo said that the Islamic State’s goal was to “push [Christians] to emigrate.”

“If the war continues, as seems likely,” he told Vatican Radio, “all the Christians will leave Syria.”

The Islamic State, which now controls 20% of Iraq and over half of Syria, also advanced toward Sadad, a town of 3,500 that is 20 miles from al-Qaryatayn, leading hundreds of Christians to flee.

 


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