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Pope makes hearfelt appeal for peace in Syria

April 09,2014: Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed his deep grief over the assassination of a
75-year-old Dutch Jesuit priest in Syria and made a renewed appeal for an end to the violence. Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt had been living in Syria since the 1970s and had become widely known for his refusal to leave Christians, who remained in the rebel-held city of Homs, as it was blockaded by government forces. He was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery on Monday. “The brutal killing of a Jesuit brother filled me with profound pain and made me think again of the many people who suffer and die in that tortured country, my beloved Syria, which has already for far too long been gripped by bloody conflict, which continues to mete out death and destruction," Pope Francis told a weekly audience of some 50 thousand people in St. Peter’s Square .
"From my heart, I ask you all to join with my prayer for peace in Syria and in the region, and I send a concerned call to those responsible in Syria and to the international community to put down your arms, and end the violence. No more war! No more destruction!" said the pope. He urged that human rights be respected in Syria and that those in need be given humanitarian assistance.
Christians made up about 10 percent of Syria's population, before protests in 2011 led to a wider civil war that has displaced a third of its people and killed more than 150,000.
Source: Sedoc


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