Catholic World News

Franciscan priest abducted again in Syria

December 31, 2015

A Franciscan priest who escaped from capture in Syria in July was kidnapped on December 23, the order’s superior in the Holy Land said.

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land, told AsiaNews that “we realize that someone took” Father Dhiya Aziz, “but we cannot say who did it or even if he is still alive. If we knew who abducted him, at least we would have confirmation, but until now, we do not know even that.”

Yakubiyah, a village of 500 where Father Aziz is stationed, “is an area of heavy fighting, on the border between government- and rebel-held territories,” said Father Pizzaballa. “Many groups are active in that area, affiliated with various factions and without coordination among themselves, each on its own, so it is difficult to understand who did it.”

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