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Orthodox priest kidnapped, slain in Syria

Catholic World News - October 25, 2012

An Orthodox priest who had been kidnapped near Damascus on October 19 has been found dead, the Fides news service reports.

Father Fadi Jamil Haddad was seized by armed men, who demanded a ransom payment of €550,000 (over $700,000) from his family. When relatives were unable to produce that payment, the kidnappers—who remain unidentified—killed him. The priest’s body was found near the place where he had been seized, bearing evidence that he had been “horribly tortured,” Church officials reported.

The priest’s death highlights the breakdown in order in Syria, as the ongoing civil war has unleashed armed gangs, with possible ties to either the army of rebel groups, operating with impunity. The country’s Christian minority has frequently been victimized by the spreading violence.

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