Assyrians attend a Mass in Baabda. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Last week a Syrian activist group reported that at least 220 Assyrian Christians were abducted from their homes by ISIS in villages along the Khabour River in Hassakeh province, where the community had a significant presence.The mass kidnapping has exhorted the Assyrian community in Lebanon to act; many of them have relatives in the Syrian province who were killed, kidnapped or forced to flee.The Assyrian presence in Lebanon was marked by two waves, first during the 1970s and after the 2011 Syrian uprising, according to community leaders.According to the president of the Syriac Union Party, Ibrahim Mrad, about 500 Assyrians arrived to Lebanon in recent days, entering either from the Masnaa border or the Abboudieh crossing in the north.De Freij told Al-Mustaqbal newspaper that border control had been notified about the ministry decision, adding that at least 5,000 Assyrians are expected to come to Lebanon and will likely stay with relatives or in homes provided by their church.
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