Today the Vatican released a statement deploring the kidnapping of a Catholic Archbishop in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The statement, which asks for the immediate release of Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa reads, “The Holy See deplores in the firmest way such a terrorist act.”
According to the Associated Press, the 66 year-old Archbishop was kidnapped while walking in front of his church in the neighborhood of Muhandeseen in eastern Mosul.
Reportedly, the Archbishop was going to visit parishioners when gunmen in two cars kidnapped him shortly after 5pm local time.
Casmoussa is the spiritual shepherd of an estimated 150,000 Catholics living in Iraq—approximately 3 per cent of the country’s 26 million residents.
The kidnapping comes on the verge of the country’s first election in 50 years. It is one of many reported acts of violence which many think will escalate as the election draws nearer.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of the Archbishop.