A priest was reportedly stabbed in his own home when he refused to give money to a man claiming to be an asylum seeker who had asked to use his shower.
Father Jos Vanderlee, a 65-year-old priest in the north east Belgian town of Lanaken, was rushed to hospital with hand and tendon injuries. He is expected to make a full recovery.
According to local newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, a man who said he was an asylum seeker knocked on the vicar’s door on Sunday and asked if he could use the shower.
Father Vanderlee agreed and let the man inside–but after showering he is said to have demanded money from the priest.
When Father Vanderlee refused, the man allegedly stabbed him before fleeing the scene.
Belgian authorities said they are investigating but denied the incident had links to terrorism.
Marino Keulen, mayor of Lanaken, said: “Despite the fact that we are shocked, we must stress that this incident can not be linked to terrorist acts at this stage of the investigation.”
Initial reports said the man was seeking asylum in the Netherlands but strayed into Lanaken, which rests on the border.
It was also suggested that the man was merely pretending to be an asylum seeker so he could gain access to the priest’s house in order to rob him.
It comes just six days after an elderly priest had his throat cut by Isil terrorists in the rural French town of St-Etienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy.
Adel Kermiche and Abdelmalik Petitjean, both 19, were shot dead by police as they fled the church in which they killed Catholic priest Jacques Hamel and took two nuns hostage.
They reportedly forced Father Hamel to kneel at his own altar before cutting his throat with a knife.