Syrian Christians remain strong in faith – abducted priest

Fr Jacques Mourad, the Jesuit priest who escaped the clutches of so-called Islamic State (ISIS) after five months in captivity in 2015 has said the faith of Christians in Syria remains strong despite the conflict there.

Now ministering in Sulaymaniya, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Fr Mourad was formerly prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian in the Syrian city of Qaryatayn in Syria when it was overrun by ISIS. Taken to the group’s stronghold in Raqqa, the priest endured 84 days of captivity before he was assisted by a Muslim to make his escape on a motorbike. Qaryatayn was subsequently liberated last April.

Now in renewed contact with the Christian community of the city, Fr Mourad explained the prevailing attitude among them today.

 “They are wondering how all this could have happened,” he said. “But then they give thanks to God and place themselves in his hands. I haven’t seen people rebel against God.”