20 February 2017
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  • » 06/24/2013, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Idlib: monk killed at Franciscan convent in Al-Ghassaniyah



    Fr Franҫois Mourad, a Syrian hermit, was a guest at the Franciscan monastery of St Anthony of Padua in Al-Ghassaniyah. What happened is still unclear. Some sources say a stray bullet killed him; others claim Islamist insurgents shot him as they plundered and destroyed the religious building.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) - The Custody of the Holy Land announced the death of Fr Franҫois Mourad (photo), a Syrian monk, and the assault of the Franciscan monastery of St Anthony of Padua in Ghassanieh, a predominantly Christian village in the district of Jisr al-Shughur in the province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey. 

    Fr Halim Noujaim, a Franciscan priest, said in a letter to the Custodian that Frs Hanna and Firas, both Franciscan religious from Kanaieh (Latakia), went to Al-Ghassaniyah to collect Fr Franҫois's body, confirming that the convent had been partially destroyed.

    In his letter, Fr Halim issued an appeal to the West, underlying the dangers of helping armed anti-Assad rebels, who support religious extremists responsible for several attacks against the Christian minority.

    At present, what happened is still unclear. In one version of events, the monk, who had been a guest at the convent for the past few months, was killed by a stray bullet that had come through a window.

    Other sources claim that the clergyman was murdered during an assault by Islamist insurgents. After they stormed the building, the latter shot the priest, and took everything of any value in the convent. (S.C.) 

     

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    See also

    25/06/2013 SYRIA
    Custos of the Holy Land: Fr Franҫois Mourad killed by Islamist insurgents in al-Ghassaniyah
    Fr Pizzaballa talks about the killing of the priest, new martyr in Syria. Franҫois Mourad was killed during an attack by Islamic fighters against the Monastery of St Anthony, in Idlib province. Until his death, the priest had worked with the Franciscans to alleviate the suffering of Christians and Muslims. Now the village stands completely destroyed.

    08/05/2014 SYRIA
    As rebels leave Homs, opposition calls for more US weapons
    After nearly two years of siege, a deal brokered by Iran and the UN brings relief to rebels and residents prostrated by hunger and lack of medicines. In Washington, a Syrian opposition leader wants "effective weapons," slams next month's elections, held "on the dead bodies of Syrians".

    26/06/2013 SYRIA
    Fr Mourad, "a man of faith" who gave his life for Christ and Syrians
    Interviewed by AsiaNews, a Franciscan in Syria talks about Fr Franҫois Mourad's mission, who was killed last Sunday in Al-Ghassaniyah (Idlib). Despite Islamist threats, he chose to stay and help the village parish priest and residents.

    17/08/2013 SYRIA
    Syrian rebels receive heavy weapons from Sudan
    The weapons are made in China and include anti-aircraft missile batteries. Khartoum denies any involvement in the Syrian conflict. Divisions between rebel factions and Iranian interests render all diplomatic effort towards a cease-fire null and void.

    03/11/2016 15:57:00 SYRIA
    As rockets hit west Aleppo wounding three Christians, rebels reject evacuation offer

    Father Ibrahim Alsabagh confirms that rockets launched from east Aleppo hit “houses and buildings inhabited by civilians”. Moscow opens eight humanitarian corridors for people fleeing east Aleppo. Rebels say, “we won’t surrender”. Militias are mining escape routes.





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