“One of the jihadists condemned me to death, put a knife to my neck, and threatened me,” he said.

“I didn’t feel anger, nor hatred, nor any feeling of violence against him,” Mourad said, and acknowledged that “I was surprised myself, because normally if someone hits me in the face, it’s normal to return the blow to his face, but in that moment I didn’t feel any ill feeling against him.”

The new archbishop was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists on March 21, 2015, when an armed group entered the Mar Elian Monastery in Syria and took him away along with a postulant from his congregation.

Archbishop-elect Mourad said that his captors are “in my prayers” every day.

“I ask forgiveness for them and I continue to, because normally it is God who gives this grace of forgiveness and absolution of all sins,” he said.

An Archdiocese of poor Christians
Regarding his appointment, the new prelate noted that Homs had not had an archbishop since June 2020, when Archbishop Théophile Philippe Barakat died.