By Theodore Shoebat
Muslims in Syria kidnapped a Christian pastor and told him: “Become Muslim or we’ll cut your head off,” and this of course is ISIS’ message to all Christian pastors. According to the report:
A Syrian priest who escaped to the West after being held for months by Islamic State believes his life was spared because of his interfaith work.
Syriac Catholic priest Rev Jacques Mourad was abducted from the Mar Moussa monastery. He believed he was going to be killed, but was instead held captive in the terrorist group’s capital, Raqqa.
According to RNS, he told members of Rome’s Foreign Press Association: “During these 84 days that I was a prisoner in this bathroom in Raqqa, it could be said that it was one of the most difficult experiences that a person can go through; that of losing one’s liberty. For me it was also a very intense experience, from the spiritual point of view.”
He said that there were very dark moments when he was threatened with execution. “It was very difficult above all when they said, ‘Become Muslim or we’ll cut your head off,'” he said.
Mourad said he thought his work fostering interfaith dialogue at the monastery had saved his life. “I’m convinced I’m alive also thanks to this mission…the work we did contributed to preventing Islamic State from killing me,” he said.
He was moved in August to another location where he found 250 Christians who had been abducted from his parish in Al-Qaryatayn. “I saw a young boy from my parish; it was a very touching moment. As soon as I turned I suddenly saw all the 250 kidnapped Christians — the children, old people, disabled, women — it was a very hard moment for me.”
They were allowed to return to their homes the following month on payment of a punitive tax. However, Mourad said that he decided to escape because life had become “unbearable”.
“Life had become unsustainable. We had nothing — we didn’t have electricity, there was no food, water — it was difficult because it was also very dangerous. At the same time I felt a responsibility towards the Christians,” he said. Others had been able to flee the area, but he said that eight had been killed.
Mourad urged Western nations to welcome refugees from Syria. “We are responsible for the whole Syrian population, not only Christians,” he said.