.- The Christian communities in Iraq have launched a prayer campaign for the release of Catholic Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, who was kidnapped by a group of armed men on February 29.
Fides news agency reported that after the call by Pope Benedict XVI and international institutions such as the European Union to release the prelate, Iraqi Christians of diverse rites and confessions asked the faithful of the world to join in prayer for his release.
Pray that “the bishop will be released, that he may feel the closeness of Jesus Christ in these moments of suffering and uncertainty, and that his family may feel the presence of God in this time of trial,” organizers of the prayer campaign said.
They also urged “all the believers of Mosul to continue being faithful witnesses of the Risen Savior” and to pray “that the captors might be touched by the love of God” and free Archbishop Faraj, who is in delicate health and in need of medicine.
Organizers also ask that “all the leaders of Christian churches” to “continue being guided by the Holy Spirit, and to ensure the local population continues to receive liturgical, pastoral and charitable care.”
Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said the situation in Mosul is “very painful and fear is spreading.” However, he went on, “we are hoping and working with other groups to save the archbishop.” The “mayor of Mosul, the Council of Imams and other groups have begun to work for his liberation,” Archbishop Sako said.