Loading
Kidnapping of archbishop “an assault on all Iraqis,” Iraqi prime minister says
Iraqi Prime Minster Nuri al-Maliki
Iraqi Prime Minster Nuri al-Maliki

.- The Iraqi prime minister has made the release of a kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop a top priority, saying the assault on Christians “represents an assault on all Iraqis,” Reuters reports.

Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, was abducted on Friday after he left a church in Mosul, a northern Iraq city.  Gunmen attacked the archbishop’s car, killing his driver and two guards. Sources familiar with the kidnappers’ demands informed CNA yesterday that a $1.8 million ransom if being demanded for the archbishop’s freedom.

"The prime minister has issued an order to the interior minister and all security officials of Nineveh province to follow the case and work very hard to release (Rahho) as soon as possible," the office of Prime Minster Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement.

The prime minister’s office said Maliki had written to Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, expressing “deep sadness and grief” over the abduction and saying he was carefully monitoring the situation.

"The Christian sect in Iraq is one of the basic components of Iraqi society and can never be parted from its people and civilization," Maliki said in the statement. "Any assault on its sons represents an assault on all Iraqis."

On Saturday, the U.N. envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, called on the Shiite-dominated government to “redouble its efforts” to protect religious minorities in Iraq.  In the past, Cardinal Delly has criticized Iraq’s Shiite leaders for staying silent while Christians were persecuted.

Chaldean Catholics, who follow an ancient Eastern rite, are part of the Catholic Church.  They form the biggest Christian community in Iraq.  As a whole, Iraqi Christians make up about 3 percent of the country’s 27 million population. 

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them "crusaders" loyal to U.S. troops.  These radical Muslims are able to use this strategy to recruit other extremists, raise terror funds, and force Christians to flee the country forfeiting their homes and property to extremists.  The property is then sold or used to fund insurgency strikes against coalition forces. 


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: