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WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO - Syrian Jihadists behead Catholic priest

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Syrian terrorists have beheaded a Catholic priest who they accused of collaborating with the Assad regime. Those accusations have not yet been verified. Father Francois was summarily executed and the Vatican has confirmed the martyrdom.

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.

Below is the news release from the Vatican, via news.va.

On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.

Father François, 49, had taken the first steps in the religious life with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, and with them he continued to share close bonds of spiritual friendship. After being ordained a priest he had started the construction of a coenobitic monastery dedicated to St. Simon Stylites in the village of Gassanieh.After the start of the Civil War, the monastery of St. Simon had been bombed and Fr. Murad had moved to the convent of the Custody for safety reasons and to give support to the remaining few, along with another religious and nuns of the Rosary.

"Let us pray," writes the Custos of the Holy Land Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM " so that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can go back to living a normal life." Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis reports to Fides: "The whole story of Christians in the Middle East is marked and made fruitful by the blood of the martyrs of many persecutions. Lately, father Murad sent me some messages that clearly showed how conscious he was of living in a dangerous situation, and offered his life for peace in Syria and around the world. "

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This should make it clear to Christians around the world what jihadists are about. Make no mistake. Catholics and Christians around the globe are under dire threat, particularly from the spread of militant Islam. Until the threat is recognized and taken seriously, martyrdoms like this will continue.

We have a link to video provided via LiveLeak. We must warn you, the video is extremely graphic. We believe the first victim is Father Francois, and the second victim that is depicted is another person said to be a collaborator with the Assad regime.

The video CLEARLY depicts the beheadings of these victims. DO NOT follow the link unless you are over the age of 18, and are prepared to view content of this nature.

Catholic Online believes it is very important the world knows that Christians are being murdered for their faith, and that martyrdom isn't an ancient phenomenon.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Vatican updated the acount. The priest was shot with multiple bullets  and not beheaded.It now appears those reports, owing to the nature of the conflict in Syria, were correct except that the attendant video may not depict the martyrdom of the friar after all. Instead, the video appears to show that another cleric, as yet precisely unidentified, was brutally murdered.

What is apparent is that there are conflicting reports from multiple sources that Murad was either beheaded or shot. What is agreed is that he was brutally murdered by jihadists. Reports from the region continue to conflict.

However, the report is correct in that Murad was martyred on June 23, by jihadists. New reports suggest he was shot while taking refuge in the monastery of St. Simon. Allegedly now, jihadist rebels entered the monastery to ransack the place and Murad was shot while attempting to defend the nuns. An update is found in the story below

Vatican: Francois Murad shot, not beheaded:
http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=51571 

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