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» 06/03/2007
IRAQ
A Chaldean priest and three deacons killed in Mosul
Fr Ragheed Ganni, 34, was hit by gunfire in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Three deacons, who served as his aides, were also killed.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – An armed group gunned down and killed Fr Ragheed Ganni and three of his aides. The murder took place right after Sunday mass in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul where Father Ragheed was parish priest. Sources told AsiaNews that hours later the bodies were still lying in the street because no one dared retrieve them. Given the situation tensions in the area remain high.

For some time since the fall of Saddam Hussein Christians have become victims of what amounts to an open campaign of persecution often denounced by Chaldean and Orthodox bishops.

Father Ragheed himself had been targeted several times in previous attacks. The Church of the Holy Spirit has also been repeatedly attacked and bombed in the last few years, the last time occurred but a few months ago.

Father Ganni was a great friend of AsiaNews. He had studied in Italy and was fluent in Arabic as well as Italian, French and English. In 2005 he had visited Italy where he gave testimony during the Vigil to Eucharistic Congress in Bari.

(Photo: Father Ragheed, first left, participating in a priestly ordination in Mosul).


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See also
08/01/2005 IRAQ
In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion
06/06/2007 IRAQ
Chaldean priest kidnapped in Baghdad
06/05/2007 IRAQ
May Fr Ragheed’s sacrifice help Iraq’s Church find “renewed unity”
06/20/2007 IRAQ
8 Christian students and teachers are kidnapped in the Nineveh Plain
06/28/2007 IRAQ
Two more Christians killed in an attack in Mosul

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Pope: Christians are persecuted and the world tries to hide itDuring the Angelus, Francis prayed for the victims of today's church massacres in Pakistan. Before the Marian prayer, he said that God "loves us, really love us, and loves us very much! This is simplest expression that sums up the whole Gospel, faith, and theology. God loves us freely and boundlessly." The pontiff also spoke about typhoon victims in Vanuatu. "I pray for the dead, the wounded and the homeless. I thank all those who reacted immediately to bring relief and aid." The pope also made a plea on behalf of persecuted Christians. "May the persecution against Christians, which the world is trying to hide, come to an end, and may there be peace."

Dossier

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