By BosNewsLife Middle East Service with reporting by BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
BAGHDAD, IRAQ (BosNewsLife)– A girl kidnapped in Iraq three years ago by Islamic State group militants reunited with her Christian parents, friends, and activists involved in finding her confirmed to BosNewsLife.
The 3-year-old Christina Abada was reportedly taken out of her mother’s arms by militants in August 2014. After three years of separation, and her family fearing the worst, Christina is now with her parents and siblings, explained Greg Musselman, Minister at Large with advocacy group Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC).
Musselman, who met the newly-reunited Abada family, warned however that “it’s going to be a process for the child,” who’s now nearly six years old. “The little girl, as you can imagine, is totally confused…. (Christina’s) traumatized, and she’s going to need counseling and help.”
He said VOMC and others would support the family following the June 9th discovery of the girl.
Musselman first met Christina’s mother, Ayda, several years ago in the city of Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. “They were preparing to leave that part of Iraq and go into Erbil, which was a safer area. Christina was in Ayda’s arms when an Islamic soldier came onto the bus…and took Christina away from her mother. Ayda ran after her daughter…but was told that if she didn’t get back on the bus, she would be killed right there, ” he recalled.
After Christina’s kidnapping, her traumatized parents met their other children who had already fled to Kurdistan. However, they never stopped looking for their abducted child, and friends helped them searching for her over the years, Christians said.
This month they reportedly received the phone call that would change their lives: Christina had been found alive and well in Hayy al-Tanak, a neighborhood in Mosul, Iraq.
No more details were immediately available, but her release comes at a time when Islamic State is losing territory in Iraq and Syria in its ongoing battle with U.S.-led coalition forces and Iraqi troops.
“For now, Christina’s safe return is a wondrous answer to prayer,” VOMC wrote in a statement.
Many Christians are known to have been killed or kidnapped by Islamic State fighters, and hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled the area.