Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly
Members login
  • TrustLaw
  • Members Portal
Subscribe Donate

Dutch Jesuit priest beaten and killed in Syria

Source: Reuters - Mon, 7 Apr 2014 14:35 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-war
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(changes dateline, updates with Vatican and Dutch comments)

VATICAN CITY, April 7 (Reuters) - A Dutch Jesuit priest was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Monday, the Vatican said.

Frans van der Lugt, 75, who had been living in Syria since the early 1970s, was a man of great courage who had refused to leave the city despite the danger there, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

"Father Frans was killed in the garden of our monastery," Rev. Ziad Hillal, another Jesuit who lived there with the Dutch priest, told Vatican Radio. "They shot him in the head. It was a premeditated act."

The Jesuit order in the Netherlands said the priest was taken from the monastery in the morning and shot twice in the head.

Lombardi praised van der Lugt as a man of great courage who "despite an extremely difficult and risky situation, wanted to remain faithful to the Syrian people to whom he had dedicated his life and his spiritual service."

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans wrote on his Facebook page that van der Lugt "only brought good to Homs, was a Syrian among Syrians, (who) refused to abandon them even when it meant risking his own life."

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. (Reporting By Anthony Deutsch in Amsterdam and Philip Pullella in Rome.; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs