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Capuchin Priest Attacked in Turkey

ANKARA , Turkey , MARCH 12, 2006 (ZENIT).- For the second time in the last two months a priest in the southern Turkish city of Mersin has been attacked.
Early Saturday evening a young man with a knife entered the parish of Capuchin Father Hanri Leylek, saying that he wanted to speak with a priest.
Aid to the Church in Need told ZENIT that young Turk insulted the priest and then threatened him with an 80-centimeter (31-inch) Kebab knife.
The priest was able to repel the aggressor, and that same evening the police arrested a suspect, a young Turk.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia, reported that this was the second time, in the last two months, that an attempt was made to kill a Catholic clergyman in the parish of Mersin , where 700 Catholics reside.
Norbert Neuhaus, secretary-general of Aid to the Church in Need, said Catholics in Turkey “are scared” about the effects that such acts will have on relations between the Muslim majority and Christian minority.
Neuhaus appealed to “the authorities to take this dramatic development seriously so that the security of Turkish Christians” is guaranteed.