Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Jihadists are terrorizing Syrians and persecuting Christians.

Syrian terrorists have beheaded a Catholic priest who they accused of collaborating with the Assad regime. Those accusations have not yet been verified. Father Francois was summarily executed and the Vatican has confirmed the martyrdom.

Syrian jihadists have carried out a series of beheadings in order to intimidate others into compliance with their extremism.

Syrian jihadists have carried out a series of beheadings in order to intimidate others into compliance with their extremism.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

7/4/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Jihad, beheading, Francois Murad, vatican, martyr, priest, Franciscan, Syria, Assad, rebels

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - The Vatican is confirming the death by beheading of Franciscan Father, Francois Murad, who was martyred by Syrian jihadists on June 23.

Below is the news release from the Vatican, via

On Sunday, June 23 the Syrian priest François Murad was killed in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land where he had taken refuge. This is confirmed by a statement of the Custos of the Holy Land sent to Fides Agency. The circumstances of the death are not fully understood. According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.

Father François, 49, had taken the first steps in the religious life with the Franciscan Friars of the Custody of the Holy Land, and with them he continued to share close bonds of spiritual friendship. After being ordained a priest he had started the construction of a coenobitic monastery dedicated to St. Simon Stylites in the village of Gassanieh.After the start of the Civil War, the monastery of St. Simon had been bombed and Fr. Murad had moved to the convent of the Custody for safety reasons and to give support to the remaining few, along with another religious and nuns of the Rosary.

"Let us pray," writes the Custos of the Holy Land Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM " so that this absurd and shameful war ends soon and that the people of Syria can go back to living a normal life." Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, titular of the Syrian Catholic archeparchy in Hassaké-Nisibis reports to Fides: "The whole story of Christians in the Middle East is marked and made fruitful by the blood of the martyrs of many persecutions. Lately, father Murad sent me some messages that clearly showed how conscious he was of living in a dangerous situation, and offered his life for peace in Syria and around the world. "


This should make it clear to Christians around the world what jihadists are about. Make no mistake. Catholics and Christians around the globe are under dire threat, particularly from the spread of militant Islam. Until the threat is recognized and taken seriously, martyrdoms like this will continue.

We have a link to video provided via LiveLeak. We must warn you, the video is extremely graphic. We believe the first victim is Father Francois, and the second victim that is depicted is another person said to be a collaborator with the Assad regime.

The video CLEARLY depicts the beheadings of these victims. DO NOT follow the link unless you are over the age of 18, and are prepared to view content of this nature.

Catholic Online believes it is very important the world knows that Christians are being murdered for their faith, and that martyrdom isn't an ancient phenomenon.


IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Vatican updated the acount. The priest was shot with multiple bullets  and not beheaded.It now appears those reports, owing to the nature of the conflict in Syria, were correct except that the attendant video may not depict the martyrdom of the friar after all. Instead, the video appears to show that another cleric, as yet precisely unidentified, was brutally murdered.

What is apparent is that there are conflicting reports from multiple sources that Murad was either beheaded or shot. What is agreed is that he was brutally murdered by jihadists. Reports from the region continue to conflict.

However, the report is correct in that Murad was martyred on June 23, by jihadists. New reports suggest he was shot while taking refuge in the monastery of St. Simon. Allegedly now, jihadist rebels entered the monastery to ransack the place and Murad was shot while attempting to defend the nuns. An update is found in the story below

Vatican: Francois Murad shot, not beheaded: 


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Islamic State executes ten Kurdish fighters, releases video (WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT) Watch

Image of A new beheading video has been released.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Another execution video has been posted by Islamic State terrorists. In this video, they behead ten Kurdish fighters after forcing them to recite prayers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ten Kurdish fighters were filmed kneeling in orange jumpsuits, reciting ... continue reading

Iranian troops flood Syria: Plan to launch a ground attack Watch

Image of Iran sends troops into Syria (AFP/Atta Kenare).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Over the past ten days, hundreds of Iranian troops entered Syria and will soon accompany government forces and Lebanese Hezbolla allies. The purpose of the move is to host a ground offensive as the Russian military continues air strikes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Russia calls up 150,000 conscripts as Syrian invasion accelerates Watch

Image of Syrians rally in favor of Assad and Putin.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russia could be planning a full-scale invasion of the Islamic State, granting the terror organization the final, apocalyptic struggle they have been waiting for. In addition to airstrikes, Putin has called up 150,000 conscripts amid calls to send Muslim troops to crush ... continue reading

Russia launches airstrikes in Syria but didn't target ISIS strongholds Watch

Image of


Russia conducted its first airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following reports of Russian familiarization flights, it came as no surprise to hear official reports Russian airstrikes have begun.Only yesterday CNN reported Russia ... continue reading

Yazidi woman recounts decapitation of husband and loss of 16-year-old daughter taken to serve as ISIS sex slave Watch

Image of 9-year-old Shilan held her father's headless body following his execution by ISIS soldiers (Owen Holdaway).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yazidi mother speaks out against ISIS, who executed her husband and took one of her daughters as a sex slave. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -The Daily Mail reported the story as 33-year-old Hayar recounted the horrific day she lost her husband and daughter."When ... continue reading

Islamic State cutting out organs from 'healthy' captives to strengthen injured jihadists Watch

Image of Former prisoner Abo Rida says that surgeons for the terror group remove kidneys and corneas from prisoners.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to an eyewitness, captives of Islamic State are forced to endure daylong torture sessions. Even worse, captives who are healthy become unwilling donors of body parts in order to tend to injured jihadists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former prisoner ... continue reading

Yazidi slave reveals - Top ISIS commander is an American, boasts he returns to USA regularly Watch

Image of Nada, 19, told Daily Mail that her former captor is a top ISIS commander, and an American.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the top ISIS commanders is an American, according to a former Yazidi slave who escaped captivity. A 19-year-old woman who was captured in August 2014, says she was owned by an American citizen who boasted that he regularly visits the US. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Green Beret discharged for shoving Afghan Commander suspected of keeping 12-year-old boy as sex slave speaks out Watch

Image of


Sergeant First Class Charles Martland, who got discharged from the army after confronting an Afghan police commander for allegedly raping a 12-year-old boy breaks his silence LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - The 33-year-old solider from Massachusetts said ... continue reading

GENOCIDAL PLANS: German journalist says the Islamic State is planning a 'nuclear tsunami' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer -to date the only reporter from the West allowed on the front lines of the Islamic State- said that the world has drastically underestimated the threat posed by ISIS. The 75-year-old warns the self-styled caliphate has mass ... continue reading

Young boy's unusual discovery halts Muslim authority's plan to erase Jewish history from the Temple Mount Watch

Image of Relic discovered at the Temple Mount.


Muslim authorities were accused of attempting to erase Jewish history at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when they moved tons of earth from the site. However, one 10-year-old a boy found a 3,000-year-old King David-era artifact, making the site a source of excitement and ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More