French Police confirmed that a Greek Orthodox priest was shot and injured in the city of Lyon on Saturday. The priest, whose name is yet to be disclosed, was attacked at a church in the French city of Lyon by an assailant who then fled.
The priest was fired at twice around 4 pm when he was closing the church, according to news agency Reuters. Another report by the Associated Press suggests that the attacker used a hunting rifle, adding that the priest is being treated at a local hospital after being hit in the abdomen.
Preliminary inputs also indicate that French Police have launched a manhunt to identify and capture the attacker.
“An event is underway near the Jean-Macé sector, in the 7th arrondissement in #Lyon. Security and rescue forces are there. A security perimeter has been installed,” the French interior ministry said in a tweet.
???? #ALERTE | Un événement est en cours à proximité du secteur Jean-Macé, dans le 7ème arrondissement à #Lyon.
Les forces de sécurité et de secours sont sur place. Un périmètre de sécurité a été installé.
⚠️ Évitez le secteur et suivez les consignes des autorités. pic.twitter.com/ZZxeTADcAF
— Ministère de l'Intérieur – Alerte (@Beauvau_Alerte) October 31, 2020
This attack on the priest is the latest in a series of crimes that have been reported from France in recent weeks. Just earlier this week, a woman was beheaded and two others killed at a church in the French city of Nice.
Horrible news from #France: Second church attack in 72 hours, Orthodox Priest shot in Lyon.
Police on scene: pic.twitter.com/pZdzuf7SL5
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) October 31, 2020
Earlier in October, the beheading of a schoolteacher in a Paris suburb triggered sharp reactions from French President Emmanuel Macron and a host of other world leaders. Police later arrested the attacker, an 18-year-old Chechen who killed teacher Samuel Paty allegedly for showing a cartoon of Prophet Mohammad in class.
خلافاً لكثير مما سمعت وشاهدت على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي في الأيام الأخيرة، فإنّ بلدنا ليس لديه مشكلة مع أي دينٍ كان. وجميع هذه الأديان تمارَس بحرية على أرضه. ليس هناك وصم: فرنسا متمسكة بالسلام وبالعيش معاً.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 31, 2020
Facing criticism over his remarks, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a tweet in Arabic on Saturday, “Contrary to much of what I have heard and seen on social media in recent days, our country has no problem with any religion. All of these religions are freely practiced on his land. There is no stigmatization: France is committed to peace and to live together.”