Fr. Francois Murad was among the three people beheaded by Islamic fundamentalists on 23rd June 2013. This latest act of murder is a sign of escalating violence between the jihadis and the moderates in a country that is torn by violence. Pls chk the link for a VERY GRAPHIC and HORRIFIC video of the incident.
A Syrian Catholic Priest Francois Murad, 49, was beheaded by jihadi fighters on 23rd June 2013. The Reverend was involved in setting up a monastery in Gassanieh, northern Syria when extremist militants trying to topple President Bashar Assad breached the monastery and grabbed Murad.
The Catholic news service quotes local sources who report that the radical Al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, or Al-Nusra Front, was behind the savage killing.
A video posted online shows the brutal execution where dozens of men and boys are seen cheering on as three men are seated on the ground awaiting their horrific deaths.
The men are methodically beheaded one at a time by men holding what appears to be a simple kitchen knife after which the heads are placed on top of the bodies.
The first victim was Fr. Murad. A frenzy ensues, with dozens drawing out their smartphones to capture the bloody scene, as a chorus of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the greatest) are sung with rapture. Several observers are seen moving within inches of the bodies in an effort to capture close-up photos.
Vatican Radio also reports that Gassanieh, a village with a majority Christian population, had been under attack by Islamist fighters for the past few weeks, forcing most residents to flee for safety.
In a tribute, they write, “Fr. Murad was just one of the many men and women religious putting their faith on the front line in Syria, refusing to abandon the communities they serve, Christian and Muslim. They stay because they want to be a sign of hope, light and comfort to people in the midst of destruction.”