German clergyman who set fire to himself dies

Source The Australian 

November 02, 2006

A RETIRED German clergyman who set fire to himself apparently in protest over the spread of Islam, died in hospital today, a Church spokesman said. 

Roland Weisselberg, 73, doused himself with petrol and set himself on fire outside a monastery in Erfurt in central Germany yesterday - a national holiday in parts of the country to celebrate the Protestant reformation.

He was taken to hospital with severe burns and died today, said Oliver Vorwald, a spokesman for the evangelical church association of the Saxony region.

Mr Vorwald said the bishop for the Erfurt region, Elfriede Begrich, was told by Weisselberg's widow that the priest left a suicide note in which he expressed concern about the spread of Islam in Germany and the Church's attitude towards it. Weisselberg retired in 1989 due to ill health. 

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