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     Home > Religion and Dialogue  >  2014-04-07 16:52:30
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Dutch Jesuit priest killed in Syria

April 07, 2014 - A Dutch Jesuit priest was killed by unidentified gunmen in the besieged Syrian city of Homs, the Vatican said on Monday. Fr. Frans van der Lugt, was killed this morning in Homs, according to his Jesuit companions,” Holy See’s spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said in statement. He said the 75-year old priest was picked up by armed men, beaten up and then executed with two gunshots to the head. Describing his fellow Jesuit as a “ man of peace”, Fr. Lombardi said with great courage Fr van der Lugt wanted to remain faithful to the Syrian people… to whom he had dedicated his life and his spiritual service for a long time. Fr. Lombardi expressed great pride and gratitude in having a fellow Jesuit so close to the suffering people, witnessing to Christ’s love till the end.
In a video appeal earlier this year, Fr. Van der Lugt had warned of the humanitarian suffering in Homs, saying its people were living in misery and starvation. "It's impossible that we suffer and the world does nothing," the missionary said, speaking in Arabic. Christians made up about 10 percent of Syria's population before protests in 2011 led to a wider civil war. The minority traditionally supported President Bashar al-Assad for protecting them and has been attacked by his opponents for that stand.


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