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2014-04-08

ASIA/SYRIA - "Difficult times will come". After the assassination of Father Van der Lugt, Christians continue to pray and reflect on martyrdom

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - " In Aleppo, we have put at the center of our pastoral care the condition in which we find ourselves. We are experiencing every day what it means to go through times of suffering. Now also father Frans Van der Lugt will help us with his example, he who testified his love for Christ and the Syrian people". This is what the Armenian Catholic priest Joseph Bazuzu, responsible for the monthly meetings of priests and pastoral workers in the battered Syrian metropolis reported to Fides. "For more than a year" Fr Joseph explains to Fides "we have suggested that the ordinary pastoral should be orientated on the words and thoughts that can support the people of God in the condition in which we live. We started from the words of Jesus in the Gospel. To help us live these days, during homilies and catechesis meetings, we focus our reflection on some passages of the New Testament that describe this condition, in which only the help of Christ can sustain us".
The brutal assassination of Father Van der Lugt has shaken not only Christians. The 72 year-old Dutch Jesuit, for forty years in Syria, had valuable channels of communication with Muslims thanks to his work as a psychotherapist. He chose to remain in Homs, struggling with the daily bombings and the lack of food in the neighborhood of Bustan al-Diwan under rebel control. He had decided to remain in his residence after the evacuation of the civilian population which took place in Homs under the aegis of the UN, with the consent of the warring parties.
We do not know who committed the crime, but the State media attributes the killing to unspecified "terrorists", a term with which the Syrian government defines all the formations and militias of the opposition. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/04/2014)

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