Beirut marks 3 years since priest kidnapped in Syria
Monday, 1 August 2016
A vigil was held at a church in Beirut to mark three years since the kidnapping of Italian priest, Paolo Dall'Oglio in Syria.
Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit who spent many years in Syria, was kidnapped in Raqqa on 29 July 2013.
He went missing after travelling to the city, known as the Islamic State group's de facto capital in Syria, to meet with opposition militants.
He had officially expelled by the Syrian government in 2012 for speaking critically about the war.
Dall'Oglio, also known by the name of Abuna Paolo, was a popular figure in Syria, where he spent decades restoring and bringing back to life the abandoned monastery of Deir Mar Musa (also known as the monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian).
He was known to be proficient in Arabic and Islamic culture, and often worked towards peace and encouraging inter-religious dialogue.