Parents of slain American aid worker ask for prayers, privacy

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, whose name was Peter before his conversion to Islam, was the fifth European or American captive killed by the militants.

Parents of slain American aid worker ask for prayers, privacy

World Bulletin/News Desk

The parents of an American aid worker killed by ISIL militants after his abduction in Syria asked for prayers for other captives in Syria and Iraq in a brief public statement at their Indianapolis church on Monday.

Abdul-Rahman Kassig, whose name was Peter before his conversion to Islam, was the fifth European or American captive killed by the militants.

In a brief public comment at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Kassig's mother, Paula Kassig, read words written about her son by one of his former teachers.

"If a person can be both a realist and an idealist, then that's Peter," she said. "Peter has earned the right to be both... Peter's life is evidence that he's been right all along; one person can make a difference."

Kassig's father, Ed Kassig, said: "Please pray for Abdul-Rahman, or Pete if that's how you know him, at sunset this evening. Pray also for all people in Syria and Iraq around the world who are held against their will."

In early October, ISIL had threatened that Kassig, 26, a medic and former U.S. Army Ranger, would be the next American or European captive the group would behead after killing British aid worker Alan Henning.

The Kassigs repeatedly appealed to ISIL to spare their son, who had begun converting to Islam before he was captured in Syria in October 2013. They said his conversion was a sincere process. The family plans a joint Muslim-Christian memorial service for their son, a family spokeswoman said.

Kassig, who briefly served in Iraq in 2007 in the U.S. Army, returned to the Middle East in 2012 for a spring break trip while studying political science, his family said.

Moved by the suffering of Syrian refugees, Kassig went to Lebanon to volunteer as an emergency medical technician, then founded an aid organization to provide food and medical supplies to refugees and first aid training to civilians in Syria, where some 200,000 people have died and millions are displaced.

Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2014, 23:45
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