MARY, OUR MOTHER

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Franciscan priest, Christian villagers abducted by Syrian militants


Fr. Hanna Jallouf, O.F.M., who was abducted Oct. 5 along with some 20 villagers from Qunaya, Syria. Photo courtesy of Custodia Terrae Sanctae.
Fr. Hanna Jallouf, O.F.M., who was abducted Oct. 5 along with some 20 villagers from Qunaya, Syria. Photo courtesy of Custodia Terrae Sanctae.
 
.- Militants linked to al-Nusra Front kidnapped a Catholic parish priest and as many as 20 people from a Christian village in Syria on Sunday night.

The priest has been identified as 62-year-old Father Hanna Jallouf, O.F.M.

“Let us pray for him and for the other victims of this tragic and senseless war,” the Custody of the Holy Land said on its website.

The Custody of the Holy Land, which oversees Franciscan activity in the region, said the priest was kidnapped with several men from the Christian village of Qunaya on the night of Oct. 5-6.
Map of Syria with Idlib highlighted
Map of Syria with Idlib highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Qunaya is located in Syria's Idlib province, 29 miles west of Idlib, and 75 miles northwest of Hamah.

“We are not able to say where Father Hanna and his parishioners are now and, at this time, we have no possibility of contact with him or his captors,” the Custody said.

Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, O.F.M, vicar apostolic of Aleppo, told Fides that about 20 persons had been kidnapped, including “young people, both boys and girls,” and that the village monastery had been looted.

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custodian of the Holy Land, told Agence France Press that 20 villagers had been kidnapped along with the priest, a Syrian who has worked in the village for 12 years.