Rebels linked to Al-Qaeda have abducted Italian Jesuit Priest Paolo Dall’Oglio, a well-known advocate of Christian-Muslim dialogue and a vocal critic of the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Vatican’s envoy to Syria, Archbishop Mario Zenari, told Vatican Radio that he has no official confirmation of Dall’Oglio’s abduction, who reportedly was kidnapped in the rebel-held eastern Syrian city of Raqqa.
Father Dall’Oglio is the latest Christian leader facing violence in Syria. In April, two Christian bishops, one Catholic and the other Orthodox, were abducted in northern Syria.
In early July, Catholic priest Francois Murad was publicly beheaded by Syrian terrorists. Zenari called these continuing abductions “a painful wound inflicted on the Syrian nation and its people.”