The Society of St. Vincent de Paul announced on its website March 4 that “several colleagues,” along with “women and children,” were kidnapped in the province of Hassakeh in northeastern Syria. The Society has been unable to confirm the number of its members abducted, as well as where they are being held.
“We’re waiting for news,” Helene Afriat, communications officer for the International Confederation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, told Catholic News Service on March 13. She also said the Society has not been able to verify or confirm reports that those kidnapped were being threatened with decapitation and their children were being held in cages.
“Given that human lives are threatened, we are exercising great caution in matters of information, and we will only communicate proven facts, so as not to present any additional threat to the lives of these people who are being held hostage,” she emphasized. She said due to the numerous abductions of Christians in Syria by Islamic State militants in recent weeks, the Society presumed its members were also abducted by Islamic State, but this information had yet to be confirmed.
The Society is asking for prayers for the safe return of those who have been adducted.