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  • » 05/19/2007, 00.00

    IRAQ

    A Chaldean priest is kidnapped in Baghdad



    Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna, parish priest of Mar Pithion, was abducted this morning in the capital’s al-Baladiyat quarter. Baghdad’s auxiliary bishop: “We will pray for his immediate release, but we will not submit to fear”. Local Christians warn of systematic plan by terrorists to “clean-up” the city quarter by quarter.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Yet another Chaldean priest was kidnapped this morning in Baghdad.  He is Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna, parish priest of Mar Pithion, from the Baladiyat quarter. Confirmation of the abduction reached AsiaNews, via Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, Chaldean auxiliary bishop in the capital, who has invited Catholics to “pray for Fr. Nawzat’s immediate release”.  The abductors have already made contact with the Chaldean Patriarchate, but as of yet there is no further news.

    The priest was leaving the house of an ill parishioner, when he was stopped by a group of persons who had been waiting for him, says the bishop. Msgr. Warduni is convinced that a motive for ransom is behind the abduction, but among Baghdad’s faithful the rumour has spread that this morning’s sequester is in response to the Patriarch and bishops recent denouncements of persecution against the Christian community there.  “By kidnapping another priest – anonymous sources tell AsiaNews – the terrorists kill two birds with one stone: they get rich and at the same time force the Patriarch to transfer him abroad, thus giving the whole community a very strong message”.

    In the meantime in the capital the witch-hunt against Christians continues.  It has emerged, from what has been reported to AsiaNews, that the persecution is being carried out according to a well studied plan, quarter by quarter across the city.  After Dora, Al-Baya’a, al-Thurat and al-Saydia, now it’s the turn of al-Habibia and al-Baladiyat. Those groups who subscribe to the “Islamic state in Iraq” are putting up posters which demand women wear the veil and distributing pamphlets imposing protection taxes on Christians.  “They use the same technique on each and every quarter – locals tell – soon they will begin to call house to house to sequester all our possessions”. “The coalition and Iraqi forces are present on the round in these neighbourhoods – they lament – they can see what’s going on, but they refuse to get involved”. Thus many make the decision to leave their homes, packing their most precious belongings in cases and seeking refuge in those few Churches which are still open.  But most are already full to capacity, forcing many families to live and sleep on the streets.

     “We cannot go on living like this – affirms Msgr. Warduni – its inhuman, it’s humiliating”. And he adds “but we will not be bowed by fear, we will continue to make our voice heard and to denounce this tragedy which is the Iraqi people and above all the Iraqi Christian’s daily reality”.

     

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    See also

    21/05/2007 IRAQ
    ”High” ransom demanded for Priest kidnapped in Baghdad
    Msgr. Warduni confirms: “we are in constant contact with his abductors, and we are praying for his release”. Rumours, spread yesterday, of Fr Nawzat’s release are quashed. The priest is now in his third day of captivity. Meanwhile the Christian exodus from the capital continues: an NGO in Dora counts the remaining families and urges then not to flee.

    22/05/2007 IRAQ
    Free, but “deeply marked” the Chaldean priest kidnapped in Baghdad
    Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna was released yesterday after three days in captivity. Currently he is in safe keeping in the capital, but he bares marks of having been beaten. Baghdad’s auxiliary bishop: “Let u spray that these episodes do not happen again and that our priest finds the courage to remain in Iraq, to serve his Church”.

    04/06/2007 IRAQ
    The Chaldean Church mourns Fr. Ragheed Ganni and his martyrs
    Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly together with all of the Chaldean bishops condemn this barbarous murder of the priest and his three deacons, massacred yesterday in Mosul after Sunday Mass: “A horrible crime against God and humanity , may these martyrs find eternal rest”. This afternoon the funerals will be held in Karamles. New information comes to light surrounding the murders.

    16/10/2006 IRAQ
    Patriarch Delly: World has forgotten Iraqi Christians

    In the aftermath of the murder of the priest Paulos Eskandar, the Chaldean patriarch denounced the indifference of the international community which, coupled with persecution, threatens to "empty" the Middle East of its Christian communities.



    04/07/2016 17:09:00 IRAQ
    For Patriarch Sako, Baghdad massacre rooted in IS’s desire to rule the world

    This morning, the Chaldean Patriarch visited Baghdad’s Karrada district, scene of the latest Jihadi attack.  So far the death toll stands at 165 with at least 225 wounded. Other sources claim more than 200 deaths. Government unity is needed to counter extremist violence. The Muslim world must realise that IS is a cancer eating away at Islam itself. Pope Francis prays for the victims and their families.





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