West armed terrorists kills Dutch priest in Syria’s Homs
A masked gunman has shot dead prominent Dutch priest, Frans van der Lugt, in the Syrian city of Homs, as deadly violence continues to hit religious minorities in the Arab country.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported his death on Monday which was also confirmed by Syria’s state news agency, SANA, as well as the Dutch Jesuit Order.
“A man came into his house, took him outside and shot him twice in the head. In the street in front of his house,” Jan Stuyt, secretary of the Dutch Jesuit Order said, adding that the 75-year-old would be buried in Syria “according to his wishes.”
Van der Lugt spent nearly five decades in Syria and was known for his insistence on staying in Homs despite the deadly violence in the city.
“The Syrian people have given me so much, so much kindness, inspiration and everything they have. If the Syrian people are suffering now, I want to share their pain and their difficulties,” he said.
Van der Lugt arrived in Syria in 1966. He lived in a Jesuit monastery and helped poor families — Muslims and Christians alike.
Meanwhile, the Vatican expressed “great pain” over Father Frans’ death.
“This is the death of a man of peace, who showed great courage in remaining loyal to the Syrian people despite an extremely risky and difficult situation,” said the spokesman for the Holy See Father Federico Lombardi.
Some 1.8 million Christians reside in Syria, making up about 10 percent of the country’s population. The religious minority has been subjected to numerous attacks by extremist groups since the outbreak of violence in the country in March 2011.
Over 150,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants in Syria.