Kassig, a 26-year-old from Indiana formerly known as Peter Kassig,
was threatened in a video issued last week by Islamic State that
showed the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, 47.
About 100 people attended the service for Kassig in the town of
Plainfield, near Indiana's capital Indianapolis.
"I have faith that he will feel the strength of these prayers and
receive blessings from them," his mother, Paula Kassig, said during
a program honoring his work held after a weekly prayer service at
the Islamic Society of North America.
"I do remain hopeful," added Joe Degas, 29, a Louisville attorney
and friend of Kassig. "You have to."
Kassig's parents have said through a spokesperson their son was
taken captive on his way to the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor
on Oct. 1, 2013.
He was doing humanitarian work through Special Emergency Response
and Assistance, an organization he founded in 2012 to help refugees
from Syria, the family has said.
Sam Pollon, 26, and his wife Sarah Pollon of Louisville, who
attended Hanover College in southern Indiana with Kassig, said they
knew there was something different about him from the day they met.
Kassig would run into a fire to see who he could help as others made
an orderly exit, Sam Pollon said after the service.
"I thank God that there are people like that," Pollon said.
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"We always say he never does anything half heartedly," Sarah Pollon
added. "Everything was all-in or nothing, and he always wanted to
Kassig's first name was Peter before he converted to Islam while in
captivity, the family spokesperson said.
A prayer vigil drawing nearly 250 people was held for Kassig on
Wednesday in Indianapolis on the campus of Butler University, which
he had attended.
Henning's beheading was the fourth such killing of a Westerner by
Islamic State, following the deaths of two U.S. journalists and
another British aid worker.
(Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Will
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