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Dutchman Frans van der Lugt, a Jesuit priest who refused to leave the embattled city of Homs, Syria, in solidarity with the few Christians still living there, was killed by assassins on Monday 7 April in his garden. He was 75.

Independent news accounts reported that van der Lugt was forcibly removed from his house and pulled into his garden, where he was shot twice through the head.

Van der Lugt arrived in the Middle East in 1966, first living in Lebanon and moving to Homs in the early 1970s. As the Syrian civil war approached Homs, the priest resolved to stay with the dwindling Christian community that remained.

During a February interview with Dutch radio, van der Lugt explained his reasons for staying.

‘When I leave, nothing will be left of this building,’ he said. ‘And I don’t want to leave alone the 28 Christians that have remained.’

Once home to an estimated 60,000 Christians, fewer than 30 remain in the Old City sector of Homs.

Source: World Watch Monitor

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the local Christians mourning the loss of van der Lugt; pray they will know of the Lord’s ministering presence at this difficult time.
  • Pray the Lord will protect them and deliver them from those who oppose Him and His church.
  • Pray this latest loss will not be in vain; ask the Lord to reveal Himself to many and bring peace to this nation.