by Samuel Smith
An unidentified church source told AFP that Father Jacques Mourad, the prior of the Mar Elian Monastery, has been released and is now taking shelter in a town about 3 miles from the city of Homs.
Although the 1,600-year-old monastery was destroyed by IS in August when the militant group took over the town of Quaryatayn and kidnapped over 230 people, including 60 Christians, Mourad was abducted months before the demolition when IS militants took over the ancient town of Palmyra in late May.
"Father [Jacques] Mourad is free," the unnamed source assured. "He is currently in the village of Zaydal."The source could not provide details on how or why mourad was granted his freedom. However, the source confirmed that the Syriac Catholic priest was able to celebrate mass on Sunday...