Fadi Jamil Haddad
Father Fadi Jamil Haddad was a priest of the Church of Antioch who was kidnapped and martyred near Damascus, Syria during the latter days of October 2012 while attempting to gain the freedom of an earlier kidnap victim during the civil strife in Syria.
Father Fadi Jamil Haddad was born in the city of Qatana on February 2, 1969, the son of zealous Christian parents, Jamil Haddad and Wadia el-Ayn. He grew up in Qatana, receiving his education in schools in Qatana, including his elementary education at el-Thaura School and middle and high school education at Baath Secondary School for Boys. After graduating from high school, Fadi studied at the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute at Balamand in Lebanon. He graduated from the theological institute in 1994.
After he married Fadi was ordained a deacon in the Maryamiyya Cathedral in Damascus. He was ordained to the priesthood during the liturgy on July 14, 1995 by His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim and Bishop Elias Kfoury.
Father Fadi Haddad began his parish service in the church in Qatana, as the cornerstone was being laid by Patr. Ignatius for the new church, dedicated to St. Elias. Father Fadi, a son of the Qatana parish, participated in the founding of the parish Orthodox Sunday School along with other sons of the parish and assisted by priests who came to Qatana, including Frs. Nicholas Baalbaki and Georges Baalbaki.
Martyr of Reconciliation and Harmony
Fr. Fadi Haddad had been acting as an intermediary for a doctor from Qatana who had been kidnapped, as he had acted previously as an intermediary in obtaining the release of kidnap victims and the return of stolen cars. Fr. Fadi was beloved by all religious groups and took no political position in the on-going civil conflict in Syria. He had gained a reputation of "… a man of God who was trusted by all", who during Ramadan, would invite Muslims to break the fast at the church. He was beloved by all religious groups and took no political position in the current conflict in Syria.
Reportedly, after Fr. Fadi had succeeded in getting the kidnappers to reduce the ransom he went with the kidnapped doctor's father-in-law to deliver the money, the two men were kidnapped. Initial reports were that Fr. Fadi's body was found shot in the head near Drousha on the Damascus-Quneitra highway.
As reported by Agence France-Presse his body was found on the morning of October 25 in the town of Drousha, near Qatana and Damascus. There were indescribable signs of torture and mutilation on his body. He was identified by Father Elias el-Baba, a priest of the town of Hina, and was taken to the clinic in the city.
The Syrian state television announced after his body had been found, that "He was one of the most prominent workers for national reconciliation and the healing of wounds."
A bomb exploded in the morning during Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad’s funeral. According to local sources, the explosion killed two civilians and some soldiers.
The funeral service was celebrated in the church of St. Elias in Qatana by Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, and was attended by thousands of Christians moved and saddened by the loss of the priest.
In a statement, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch defined Fr. Haddad as a "martyr of reconciliation and harmony." "We ask God - said the Orthodox Patriarch – that Father Fadi Haddad’s martyrdom is a sacrifice offered for the children of this nation and for a truce in the painful events we are experiencing in this period."
- Thursday, October 25, 2012: Father Fadi Haddad Martyred near Damascus
- ASIA/SYRIA - A bomb during Father Fadi Haddad's funeral, "martyr of reconciliation and harmony". News.va (The Vatican Today), Agenzia Fides, 26/10/2012.
- The rebels killed a priest near Damascus.
- Priest who negotiated Syria hostage releases slain.
- Michael Avramovich. Peace to the Memory of Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad, Martyr. Touchstone Magazine Blog (The Fellowship of St. James). October 26, 2012, 2:21 PM.
- (Greek) Συρία: Ιερέας βρέθηκε στραγγαλισμένος. Romfea.gr. 25 October 2012.