LANAKEN, Belgium (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Belgian priest was stabbed in his own home by a Middle-Eastern migrant in the town of Lanaken, Belgium.
Sixty-five-year-old Fr. Jos Vanderlee was rushed to the hospital after the refugee stabbed him, slashing tendons in his hands. According to local newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the man knocked on Fr. Vanderlee's door on Sunday, told the priest he was seeking asylum, and then asked if he could use the priest's shower.
Belgian authorities are investigating the incident and have stated there is no evidence to rule the stabbing as an act of terrorism. The Mayor of Lanaken, Marino Keulen, underscored the initial findings.
"Despite the fact that we are shocked, we must stress that this incident cannot be linked to terrorist acts at this stage of the investigation."
Initial reports of the attack/robbery stated that the man was seeking asylum in the Netherlands but strayed into the city of Lanaken, near the border. Another report alleged the man could have lied about seeking asylum in order to gain entry into the priest's house and rob him.
This incident comes after tensions were heightened last week when two 19-year-old Muslims, Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean, were shot dead after slitting the throat of French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel during the celebration of Mass in a small town in Normandy, France. The terrorists, who had pledged allegiance to Daesh, otherwise known as ISIS, took several Mass-goers hostage, including two nuns.
Father Vanderlee is responsible for eight parishes in the local area and had celebrated the 40th anniversary of his priestly ordination earlier this month. He is expected to make a full recovery. The suspect remains on the loose.
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