Catholic priest beheaded in northern Syria

Catholic priest beheaded in northern Syria


Syrian rebels have beheaded a Catholic priest at a monastery in northern Syria, the Vatican has confirmed.

Father François Murad, 49, was beheaded on June 23 when militants attacked the convent where he was staying. The priest was a member of the Franciscan order, the official custodian of Christian sites in the Middle East. A recording of the priest’s beheading shows a crowd of spectators that included two other people recording the execution.

The Vatican news agency said the circumstances of the killing were not fully clear but local sources said the attackers were linked to the jihadist group known as al-Nusra Front.

The situation of Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped on April 22 by armed men en route from the Turkish border, was still unclear. The Turkish Foreign Ministry had previously announced that the kidnapped bishops were still alive and efforts to secure their release were ongoing.