Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Middle East » Iraq » Muslim Kidnappers Ransom Christians
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Hundreds of kidnapped Arab Christians have been ransomed last year by Islamist terror groups trying to raise funds by spreading terror across the Middle East, according to The Christian Post.
And trying to rescue the abductees has become especially problematic when priests are taken for ransom since their denominations don't know who the kidnappers are, or where their kidnapped clergy are being held. For example, archbishops Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi were kidnapped between Aleppo and the Turkish border back in April 2013. The archbishops had been negotiating for the release of two other priests, Michael Kayyal and Maher Mahfouz, who were kidnapped two months earlier.
"No one knows who took the archbishops, nor what their fate was, but the two priests they were trying to free have since been executed," said John Newton, a spokesman for Aid to the Church in Need. "Christians have become a form [of] currency in this tragedy."
In 2006, Father Douglas Bazi was kidnapped by Islamists who broke one of his legs, knocked out his teeth out and deprived him of water for four days until a ransom was paid.
"We are Christian, so we are used to having our luggage always prepared," said Bazi. "We always have to run away, escape from place to place."
The Islamic State has openly proclaimed its plans to drive Christians the Middle East, prompting Prime Minister David Cameron to proclaim that Christianity is now the "most persecuted religion around the world".
IS has also routinely destroyed crosses and holy sites that included the destruction of the fourth century Christian Monastery of the Martyrs.