07 October 2014, The Tablet

Islamists in Syria seize priest and parishioners

A Franciscan priest and up to 20 parishioners have been seized by jihadists linked to the Islamist Al-Nusra Front at a village in northwestern Syria, the Franciscan mission to the Holy Land reported on Tuesday. Fr Hanna Jallouf, parish priest in Knayeh, and the others were taken last Sunday night and the monastery looted.

Bishop Georges Abou Khazen O.F.M., Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo, confirmed the abductions and told the missionary Fides news service: “We cannot contact anyone, and we have not been contacted by anyone.”

Knayeh is a Christian village in the valley of the Orontes, near the border with Turkey, which has seen a presence of the Friars Minor of the Custody of the Holy Land for more than 125 years.

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