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Person killed at Sunday Mass in Istanbul



A worshipper lights candles as she attends a Christmas Mass at the Saint Mary Draperis Roman Catholic Church at the Beyoglu district of Istanbul

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 01/28/24

Pope Francis expressed his sorrow after praying the midday Angelus.
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Armed men entered a church in Istanbul, Turkey, during Sunday Mass, leaving one person dead. The attack occurred around 11:40 on January 28, and Pope Francis publicly condemned it only about an hour later, after leading the Sunday Angelus.

Turkish officials reported that the attack was carried out by two masked men, and that a full investigation is underway as police continue to pursue the assailants. According to France 24, officials said the attack seemed to be targeted against the victim who died, and not against the church in general.

The Pope said:

I express my sympathy to the community of St. Mary Draperis Church in Istanbul, which suffered an armed attack during Mass that left one person dead and several wounded.

The church is home to a much revered icon of Mary, with a fascinating history.


Turkey is practically entirely Sunni Muslim. Christians and Jews together form less than 0.2% of the population.

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