Father Francis Beaten and Shot
Dutch Jesuit Priest, Father Francis Van Der Lugt, was killed by a masked gunman–shot twice in the head. He was killed at a monastery in the Syrian rebel stronghold of Bustan al-Diwan. Some report that he was beaten before he was shot.
Father Francis was famous for his refusal to leave Bustan al-Diwan in spite of the obvious danger. In a video interview from February, 2014 he was asked why he wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to leave Syria and return to the safety of his home in the Netherlands. Father Francis said he didn’t want to abandon the twenty-eight remaining Christians, and that even if there were no Christians, he would stay to help all Syrians.
One of his passions was rescuing the religious art in the area from the destruction of the war. He would often search through the rubble of churches and mosques looking for the remains of religious artwork, some pieces as old as 1,000 years.
Father Francis laid down his life for his friends–even as his Savior did.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16