Photo of Fr. Francois Murad
Catholic online reported Monday that a Syrian Catholic priest, Father Francois Murad, was beheaded by the radical Jabhat al-Nusra or al-Nusra Front. The Jihadists murdered Fr. Francois in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge, making the unsubstantiated claim that he was collaborating with Assad’s forces.
The circumstances of his death are unknown. Fr. Francois was setting up a monastery in Gassanieh. He refused to leave the few Christians and nuns left in the area and wanted to give the people hope by all accounts. He was well aware of the danger he was in.
Catholic online quoted Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis, who wrote, “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.”
Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East. In Syria, extremists among the rebel groups are using the war against Assad as reason to go into Christian villages to maim and murder. The Jihadists are also massacring Shia Muslims.
Catholics and Christians around the world are under threat, particularly from Jihadists reports Catholic online.
There is a link to the graphic video at the site. It is horrible.
Three men, one of whom is Fr. Francois, are seated on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. Perhaps a hundred or more men and teens are sitting and standing around taking pictures and videos of the victims while talking excitedly in Arabic, sometimes saying Allahu Akbar.
The sociopathic killers talk and mill about as if this was an everyday event, which it probably is. Then they all begin shouting Allahu Akbar in unison. A man with an ordinary knife comes up behind the first victim, Fr. Francois, and begins to slowly and methodically cut through his neck.
The choice of an ordinary knife was undoubtedly deliberate to prolongate the torture and the terror.
Liveleak, which has posted the video, blacks out the worst part, which seems to take an eternity. It’s sickening. After the beheading, they take the head and put it on the man’s body.
They continue chanting Allahu Akbar as they take video and photos of this innocent man before, during and after the martyrdom. The two other men are likely the next victims.
There is no sign that a single person has any hesitation or sympathy for their victims. They are inhuman.
I do think that people, who are mature enough to see the video, should see it. People need to know the dangers we are facing.
We keep our borders open and let people come in on visas who disappear into the country and these could be the people we are letting in. When Obama says he wants to let 1.6 million Syrian refugees into the country, these murderers could be in the mix. When people in this country start flippantly attacking Christians and Catholics, it is the beginning of a very evil and dangerous thought process.
The murderers are alleged to be members of Jabhat al-Nusra, radicals who are acquiring more and more of the fighters in the Free Syrian Army which we back. They are al-Qai’da and have merged with al-Qai’da in Iraq, They are among the most effective, well-financed, and vicious fighters in Syria.
They have reportedly taken over the rebels, who are now receiving arms from the West and the US.
The CIA is attempting to only give arms to rebels not involved with the al-Qai’da linked al-Nusra but once these arms are made available, they get passed around throughout the multi-national forces fighting the Assad regime.
Update: 7/1/13: The video has been censored by Mail Online and has been removed from youtube. Only the beginning of the beginning of the video is available. Click here. I watched the video and a man resembling Father Francois and who was dressed as a monk was beheaded. The Vatican has confirmed Fr. Murad’s death by beheading.