Man sets priest alight in Lithuanian church

The priest had been released from hospital after receiving treatment for his burns.

Vilnius: An assailant sprayed
a Roman Catholic priest with flammable liquid and set him
alight during mass in a church in Lithuania, police in the
Baltic state said on Friday.

Father Remigijus Kuprys, 46, managed to extinguish the
flames with the help of worshippers, but suffered facial
burns.

The attack occurred during the service yesterday in
the central Lithuanian town of Jonava, when a 42-year-old
local resident sprayed Kuprys with the flammable liquid and
set it ablaze with a cigarette lighter.

The motives of the assailant, identified by police
only by his initials JD, were unknown.

"We have reports that he had repeatedly disrupted
masses and shouted weird statements. Investigators are
deciding on psychiatric tests," officer Mindaugas Juknys said.

The suspect did not resist arrest when police arrived
at the church. If considered mentally fit to stand trial, he
risks up to 10 years in jail for the assault.

Police said that the priest had been released from
hospital after receiving treatment for his burns.

Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas today published a
photograph of Kuprys with his face fully bandaged, with only
the eyes and mouth visible.

Around 80 percent of Lithuania`s three million
residents are Roman Catholic.

PTI