ISIS frees Syrian Christians held since 2015 for ransom
The Associated Press, Beirut Monday, 22 February 2016
ISIS on Monday released the last of some 230 Assyrian Christians kidnapped a year ago in Syria after the receiving millions of dollars in ransom, Christian officials said.
That brief excerpt tells us the gist of the story. More:
Kidnapping for ransom is a main source of income for the extremists. In November, ISIS said it killed a Norwegian and a Chinese captive after demanding ransom for their release two months earlier.
Talia said ISIS demanded a ransom of $18 million for the Assyrian Christians. He said the figure was later lowered following negotiations. He said he did not know the final amount.
Osama Edward, director of the Stockholm-based Assyrian Human Rights Network, said 42 Christians, mostly young women and children, were released. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said 42 were released, including at least 17 women.
A Syrian Christian figure said the worldwide Assyrian community launched a campaign for the captives’ release shortly after they were abducted. He said a bank account was opened in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil and donations began to flow in from around the world.
“We paid large amounts of money, millions of dollars, but not $18 million,” said the man, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive mediation. “We paid less than half the amount.”
I read a Christian organization say how much it costs to move a refugee and family out of there. For millions, many, many can be moved out. So, thank God and praise God they are free but at a big ransom.