02/18/2019 Syria (International Christian Concern) – A Papal basilica in Rome has held a day of remembrance for Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, a Jesuit priest who disappeared in Syria six years ago. Father Dall’Oglio had lived in Syria for 35 years before being exiled in 2012 for his opposition to the Assad regime. He later win the Nobel Missionary Prize for his work on inter-faith dialogue.
Father Dall’Oglio would eventually return to Syria following his exile. In the summer of 2013, he would attempt to enter Raqqa, which was then governed by the Islamic State (ISIS), in an attempt to negotiate the release of a kidnapped TV crew. He was never heard from again. He is presumed dead, but uncertainty remains on whether ISIS or members of the regime are responsible.
Both the Syrian army and ISIS militants have a history of targeting priests and other Christian religious figures inside Syria. Many remain disappeared, their fate unknown. Because several had spoken out against the regime, many suspect that the government is using the instability ISIS caused to blame the militants for their disappearance. However, it is impossible to know for sure what happened to these Christian leaders.
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