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'Continue to Faithfully Pray': Parents of American Captive Austin Tice Speak Out About Son's 9-Year Captivity in Syria

This undated photo obtained from the family of Austin Tice, shows American freelance journalist Austin Tice, 31, who has been missing in Syria since mid-August, 2012. (Photo via AP)

ABOVE:  Lisa Matthews, an Associated Press journalist and the president of the National Press Club appeared on the Friday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about Austin Tice's captivity and what people can do to help bring attention to his case. Faith Nation is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel

Austin Tice, an American journalist, and Marine Corps veteran, was abducted in Syria nine years ago this week. 

He had reportedly traveled to Syria to report on the civil war during his summer break from law school. 

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken noted Tice turned 40 years old on Aug. 11, having spent almost a quarter of his life in captivity. 

"I am personally committed to bringing home all Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad. We believe that it is within Bashar al-Assad's power to free Austin," Blinken said. "We will continue to pursue all avenues to bring Austin home. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens and the broader team are working diligently and around the clock to bring Austin back to his family."

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In a statement, Tice's parents, Marc and Debra Tice said besides a proof of life video a few weeks after his kidnapping in August of 2012, their son has been held "in secret and in silence."

"This week, on August 11, our family will celebrate Austin's 40th birthday. We will celebrate with heartfelt gratitude that such an exceptional man, who has such a big brave heart, was gifted to our family. Austin fills the room with energy and enthusiasm, we miss his contagious laugh. We miss being able to share our love with him.  As his parents, we will reflect on the overwhelming joy we felt when we first held him in our arms - arms which ache to hug him again.

We will continue to faithfully pray, expectantly wait, and relentlessly work for his safe return. 

Also this week, we will grieve and detest Austin's detention day, August 14, nine long years ago.  Austin had just celebrated his 31st birthday three days before he was arrested. It is a piercing sense of loss to consider that Austin has spent almost all of his 30's deprived of his liberty and the pursuit of his dreams.

Our love and grief combine to fuel our determination and create a sense of urgency as we continue working for his secure release and safe return. 

At the very same time, we are deeply grateful that in these past nine years our lives have been blessed by amazing, steadfast people and organizations which are unwavering in their outpouring of kindness and support. 

We are also intensely frustrated by the irresolute, on-again-off-again involvement of our government and its insufficient resolve to secure Austin's release.

Nevertheless, we are resolute.  We are now imploring a third President of the United States to communicate to his administration that Austin's secure release and safe return is a priority. There are many capable people working in our government who are eager to see Austin walk free; they must have President Biden's authorization for significant and relevant diplomatic engagement with the Syrian government. 

As with the past nine years, we continue to plead for the American and the Syrian governments to sincerely engage in a serious dialogue focused on Austin's secure release and safe return.

We will pray, wait, and work to see Austin walk free. May it be soon."

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