Catholic World News

Polish priest murdered in Tunisia

February 21, 2011

A Polish Salesian priest was murdered in Tunisia on February 18. Father Marek Rybinski, 34, was ordained in 2005 and has ministered in the north African nation for three years.

A month before his death, the Salesian missionaries had received a death threat addressed to Jews and signed with a swastika. “The ignorant think that all non-Muslims here are Jews,” said Bishop Marun Lahham of Tunis.

The government has condemned the murder, blaming it on “fascist terrorists.” A leading Islamist group also condemned the killing.

“We are not sure why our priest colleague was killed; it could have been a terrorist act against the emerging democracy, it could have had a religious motive, it could have been an extremist act or a failed robbery,“ said a Salesian serving in Malta.

0.02% of the nation’s 10.3 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.

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