Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today in response to the murder of Father Frans van der Lugt in Syria:
Father Frans van der Lugt had represented the Jesuit order in Syria for five decades. He worked primarily in the field of education and supported numerous projects for disabled people. When he was killed, he was working in the city of Homs, which is under siege from the Assad regime. It is unclear what led to his being killed yesterday.
Father van der Lugt’s fellow Jesuit priest Father Paolo Dall’Oglio was abducted in July 2013. His fate remains unknown. Metropolitan Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian-Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Boulos Yazigi of the Greek-Orthodox Church, both of them based in Aleppo, were abducted almost a year ago.