The parents of a Chaldean Catholic priest have disappeared in southeastern Turkey.
According to Washington D.C.-based persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern, the pair were abducted by unidentified men from their home in the village of Meer, in Sirnak Province.
Hurmuz and Simoni Diril, the parents of Father Ramzi Diril, were reported to have lived in the area for the past ten years and were the only Assyrians and Christians to remain in the village.
“Both are elderly. Father Ramzi had arrived home on Sunday to visit his parents; he discovered their house empty and that they had gone missing the day before,” the report reads, before noting that the family is asking for prayer as they search far and wide for their loved ones.
Father Ramzi is the single Chaldean Catholic priest in charge of pastoral work for the whole of Turkey, ministering to the depleting population of Assyrian believers.
The shocking news comes just days after news emerged of three Assyrian Christians being arrested at the hands of Turkish authorities.
One of the men placed under arrest is Father Sefer Bileçen, who has been looking after the 1500-year-old “Mor Yakub Monastery” in Mardin province for several years.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the two other Christians arrested were Joseph Yar, chair of the town’s council, and Musa Taştekin from Dibek village.
Father Aho has been accused of providing food and water to righters from the People’s Defence Forces — the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey deems a terrorist faction.
Do pray that the search for Hurmuz and Simoni will be successful and that God would protect these faithful Christians seeking to live out their lives for God in such a tumultuous and complex country.
We will keep you update with this case as we receive more information.