Pope Francis Speaks Of Christian ‘Martyr’ Killed In Syria For Not Renouncing Faith

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Pope Francis, who returned from Greece with
12 Syrian Muslim refugees, on Sunday spoke of
a Syrian Christian “martyr” who was murdered
by terrorists for refusing to renounce her faith,
in a speech in St Peter’s Square.

“He is Muslim, and he told me that he married a
Christian girl,” the Pope said, of one of the more
than 300 Syrian refugees he met on the
Aegean island of Lesbos in Greece on Saturday,
according to Sky News. “They loved each other and respected each other.”

The pope continued, “But unfortunately the
young woman’s throat was slashed by
terrorists because she didn’t want to deny
Christ and abandon her faith.”

Francis brought to Italy three Syrian Muslim
families whose homes had been bombed in the
Syrian war. They will all be looked after by the
Vatican.

“We saw friends and relatives die in the rubble,
we fled Syria because we no longer had any
hope,” Sigma Live quoted Hasan, an engineer from Damascus, who arrived in Italy with his
wife, Nour, and two-year-old son, as saying.

When interviewed by reporters on his flight
from Greece, the pope called all refugees
“children of God.”

He said bringing 12 refugees to Rome was a
“humanitarian gesture… (but) a drop in the
ocean,” according to AFP. “Everything has been done according to the rules, with the
agreement of the Greek and Italian
governments. They have their papers, and
everything is in order.”

The pope also said all the refugees brought to
Rome are Muslims because the papers of two
Christian families that had originally been on
the list were not in order.

“I didn’t make the selection. These three
families had papers which were in order and it
was feasible. There were two Christian families
but their paperwork wasn’t ready. [Religion]
was not grounds for exemption. All refugees
are children of God.”

Francis on Saturday urged Europe to fulfill its
claim of being “the homeland of human rights.”

“Whoever sets foot on European soil ought to
sense this, and thus become more aware of the
duty to respect and defend those rights,” the
pontiff said.

As hundred of thousands of people from Syria,
Iraq and elsewhere are fleeing violence,
persecution, civil wars and poverty, and
searching for asylum, the European Union has
responded by detaining several of them and
deporting some back to their countries of origin.

“We have come to call the attention of the
world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to
plead for its resolution,” Francis said during his
visit to Greece, where leaders of Eastern
Orthodox Christian churches joined him,
according to The New York Times. “As people of faith, we wish to join our voices to speak out
on your behalf,” the pope added. “We hope
that the world will heed these scenes of tragic
and indeed desperate need, and respond in a
way worthy of our common humanity.”

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