Dec 7, 2004 / 22:00 pm
A day After Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, northern Iraq, watched his home go up in flames when “Mujahedin,” – Muslim fighters of the “holy war” –bombed the building, priests from Baghdad asked the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need to “pray for us and especially for Archbishop Rahho.”
An ACN contact in Iraq said: “The bishop and the priests are very shaken. The bishop just had to stand in front of his home and watch it burn.” Priets and faithful in Mosul have been warning of an escalation in violence and intimidation over the recent months, fearing that a Fallujah-style catastrophe could grip the city.
ACN’ head of projects for the Middle East, Marie-Ange Siebrecht said: “We can only pray for the people at this terrible time. We appeal to people to pray for the Christians of Mosul and the whole community throughout Iraq. We cannot imagine what the bishop and his people must be going through. We should not forget that Mosul is one of the most important Christian centers in Iraq with a very ancient and rich history.”
For several months, priests and faithful in Mosul have received death threats. A few months ago, the archbishop responded to the threats by removing one of his priests to a safe house, away from the city.