» 06/06/2007, 00.00
Chaldean priest kidnapped in Baghdad
Father Hani was taken on his way to the capital’s minor seminar. Five boys were abducted with him. Christians are plunged into a state of gloom.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Another Chaldean priest was abducted in Baghdad today. Fr Hani Abdel Ahad, in his early 30s, was taken in a north-eastern section of the capital called Suleikh along with five boys who were going with him to visit the city’s minor seminar.
The incident has plunged the Christian community in a state of gloom. Some faithful have reacted to terrible news saying that they have “the impression that they are all alone, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he felt abandoned by the Father.”
Unconfirmed rumours have raised the possibility that Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly might have already received a ransom note.
The head of the Chaldean Church is currently in Al-Qosh, a town in the northern part of the country, where he is participating in the last day of the patriarchal synod.
Father Hani’s abduction comes only three days after the assassination of a Chaldean priest, Fr Ragheed Ganni, and three subdeacons in Mosul.
Chaldean priest abducted in Baghdad is free and in good health
Fr Hani Abdel Ahad is released after 12 days. “He is very tired but was not mistreated,” says someone who met him. Persecution of Christians now moves to the al-Amariya and Hai al-Jamiya neighbourhoods with bombs placed in a home garden and threats of beheading.
Four Christians abducted yesterday are released in Baghdad
Chaldean clergyman, Father Hani, and one of the five boys accompanying him on a visit to a minor seminar in the capital are still being held but negotiations are underway to free them. Released prisoners are said to be in good conditions.
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Iraqi priest abducted and tortured in Iraq because he was Christian
Fr Hani Abdel Ahad, abducted in Baghdad in June of last year and held for 12 days, tells AsiaNews about his captivity, the daily violence he experienced, the psychological threats and physical torture he endured. Money is not the only motive behind the abduction of priests. “I experienced first hand the deep hatred terrorists have for Christians and suffered on my body their plans to drive them out Iraq,” he said. Still convalescing for the hardships he had to endure, he is thankful to God for his faith, only “hope for a better future.”
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