The Iraqi priest Fr. Dhiya Aziz was kidnapped by ISIS terrorist group on July 4 last year and released 5 days later. Fr. Aziz was again kidnapped for the second time by the ISIS group on 23rd December 2015 on his way from a mission work at Turkey, to return to his parish in Idlib province in Syria.
Fr. Aziz belongs to the the Iraqi Franciscan mission group. The group’s Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, told Vatican Radio there have been no updates since Christmas Eve. “God forbid he is killed Fr. Pizzaballa added.
Fr Aziz had been visiting family who took refuge in Turkey after ISIS took over their hometown of Qaraqosh in Iraq.
Fr Aziz, volunteered to serve the parish of Yacoubieh, in Idlib province, two years ago. The area has been in the hands of ISIS for years.
While most priests and religious of other Christian communities have left the area, the parish, and neighbouring village of Knayeh, are being looked after by the Franciscans.