A group linked to Islamic State (ISIS) has released a propaganda poster depicting Pope Francis being beheaded.
The picture, which the Catholic Herald has chosen not to show, depicts a jihadist standing over the torso of a prisoner in an orange jumpsuit while holding the head of the Pope.
The terrorist, clad in a white scarf and khaki, is standing in front of several damaged and destroyed buildings. Next to the Pope’s head is written “Jorge Mario Bergoglio”.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports that the Wafa Media Foundation, a propaganda outlet with links to ISIS, produced the image. It comes just days after the group circulated another poster depicting a man driving a car towards St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, warning of a Christmas terror attack at the Vatican.
Analysts have warned that the terror group may step up so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe as its self-proclaimed state collapses in Iraq and Syria, especially around Christmas time.
In December last year, a terrorist linked to ISIS drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 11 people and injuring 56.
On All Saints Day this year, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of recent attacks throughout the world, saying: “We ask the Lord to convert the hearts of terrorists and free the world from hatred and homicidal folly that abuses the name of God, spreading death.”