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» 09/02/2008
IRAQ
Fresh violence in Mosul, two Christians kidnapped and killed
The kidnapping of two Christians has ended in tragedy, after the family of one paid a ransom of 20,000 dollars. The community of Mosul hopes that the Muslims will strongly condemn the murders.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - The Iraqi Christian community is again in the sights of Islamic fundamentalists in Mosul: today news came of the death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group. AsiaNews sources say that his family had paid a ransom of 20,000 U.S. dollars. But it was not enough money to free Tariq Qattan, one of the many Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion.

Also in Mosul, two days ago - although the news has just been released today - another Christian, Nafi Haddad, was kidnapped and killed. It is not yet known whether or not a ransom was paid. Despite the small signs of improvement that seem to come from Iraq, the Christian community is still witnessing more violence: Mosul has long been the theater of a genuine slaughter, forcing more than two thirds of the faithful to flee elsewhere in search of safety.

The diocese has paid a large tribute in blood in recent years, beginning with the tragic kidnapping of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose lifeless body was found last March 13 in an abandoned area just outside of the city. During the ambush that preceded the archbishop's captivity, the three men acting as his bodyguard were massacred by the terrorists.

In 2007, the Iraqi Christian community suffered 47 deaths, 13 of them in Mosul: these include Fr Ragheed Gani, murdered on June 3, and two other priests.

Between January 6 and 17 of this year, there was also a series of attacks on Christian property. A wave of bombings struck the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Virgin, the Chaldean Church of St Paul, which was almost destroyed, the entrance to the orphanage run by the Chaldean sisters in al Nour, a Nestorian church, and the convent of the Dominican sisters in Mosul Jadida.

The source for AsiaNews in Mosul hopes that the two latest homicides will be "forcefully condemned" by the Muslim community, which has just celebrated the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. Atrocities carried out "in the name of religion", and which violate the precepts of the Qur'an. "For centuries, the Christian community has contributed in a fundamental way to the development of Iraq. It is the duty of Muslims to respect and protect it, because we all believe in one God, as is written in the holy book".


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See also
10/07/2008 IRAQ
Mosul, another "targeted murder" against the Christian community
04/27/2009 IRAQ
Kirkuk: commando brigade attacks two Christian families, three killed
03/01/2008 IRAQ
Three Christians killed in kidnapping of Mosul bishop buried in Karamles
09/07/2009 IRAQ
Mosul: more kidnappings and murders of Christians, to force them to the plain of Nineveh
05/22/2007 IRAQ
Free, but “deeply marked” the Chaldean priest kidnapped in Baghdad

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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