A priest of the Syriac Catholic Church in the western Syrian city of Homs was kidnapped Thursday along with one of his colleagues, according to the NGO l’Oeuvre d’Orient.

Father Jacques Mourad was seized with another Christian originating from Aleppo, who was helping the priest.

“The priest was kidnapped by three masked people in the early afternoon at his Mar Elian Monastery in Qaryatayn, while he was preparing to welcome an expected influx of refugees from Palmyra,” the NGO told AFP. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist group, confirmed that “two men, at least one of them a priest,” were kidnapped by armed men “near Qaryatayn, in the Homs province”.

Mourad succeeded the Italian Jesuit Priest Paolo Dall’Oglio as the head of the Mar Moussa Monastery, which is linked to Mar Elian.

Dall’Oglio has been missing for nearly two years after being kidnapped in Syria’s northern Aleppo province. 

The NGO said that Mourad worked to foster inter-religious dialogue, and worked with both Christians and Muslims.


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