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Superior of Mar Elian monastery in Syria ‘kidnapped by ISIS’

An Assyrian woman prays at a church in Damascus at a Mass for Christians abducted by ISIS (Photo: CNS)

The superior of the Mar Elian monastery near Homs in Syria has been kidnapped by ISIS militants, according to the French newspaper La Croix.

The report said that Fr Jacques Mourad was kidnapped from the monastery yesterday.

Fr Mourad had apparently sent an email hours earlier to say that extremists had arrived in the town of Al Quaryatayn and were committing atrocities against the people there.

The monastery of Mar Elian is linked to that of Mar Musa, a monastery near Damascus dating back to the sixth century which was rebuilt under the leadership of Italian Jesuit Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio. Fr Dall’Oglio was himself abducted by ISIS two years ago.