Father Van der Lugt began his ministry in Syria in 1966. During his ministry he was a voice of faith and love in the face of injustice. He offered shelter in his monastery to Muslims and Christians left homeless by the war, which began in March 2011. He was trapped with many other Syrians by the government’s siege on Homs. Despite the obvious risk, Father Van der Lugt stayed in Syria to support the civilians in his ministry. On the morning of April 7, 2014, he was abducted from his home beaten and shot by unidentified men.

The February before his death he exemplified his love for his ministry in a comment to AFP, “The Syrian people have given me so much, so much kindness, inspiration and everything they have. If the Syrian people are suffering now, I want to share their pain and their difficulties,”

January 2014 appeal by Father Van der Lugt to the international community to work for peace in Syria: