» 06/09/2007, 00.00
The killers of Fr. Ragheed and the three deacons wanted their conversion to Islam
New details emerge surrounding the assassination of the Chaldean priest and his three friends in Mosul. Sunni Islam’s highest authority in Iraq condemns the attacks against the Christians and lays “all blame at the door of the Government and occupying forces”. The Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the Nineveh Plain project “we work to build greater unity, not barriers”.
8 Christian students and teachers are kidnapped in the Nineveh Plain
The group were travelling by minibus towards the village of Qaraqosh, in the North. Numerous cars stopped and surrounded them on the road; still no contact with the kidnappers. Yesterday in Mosul two Christians were assassinated in the quarter where Fr. Ragheed Ganni and his three sub deacons were murdered earlier this month.
Kidnapped Chaldean Priest : No to the Niniveh plain ethnic project
Opposition to the “Assyrian” ghetto to save Iraq’s persecuted Christians today finds a qualified representative: Fr. Saad Hanna Sirop, one of the first Chaldean priests to have been kidnapped in Baghdad, and for whose release Benedict XVI intervened. A victim of Iraq’s violent anti Christian persecution, he too views the idea of an ethnic-religious enclave as diametrically opposed to Iraq’s history and the purpose of evangelization. Moreover, Fr. Saad maintains that the project’s real aim is not protection of the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians, but to protect ambitious “personal and economic interests”.
Mosul, "focal point" of Wahabi extremism in Iraq
Iraqi sources warn: the city is in the hands of rigid Sunni fundamentalists, who aim for an Islamic State; Christians and Shiites, find no space while the “kidnapping industry” gathers pace. The family of a kidnapped Chaldean has already paid a ransom twice over, but there is still no trace of the hostage.
May Fr Ragheed’s sacrifice help Iraq’s Church find “renewed unity”
This was the invitation of the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr Sako, present yesterday at the funeral of the Chaldean priest and three sub-deacons, murdered two days ago in Mosul. Thousands gathered for the burial concelebrated by Patriarch Delly and the Leaders of the country’s Catholic community, who thanked the Pope for his expressions of solidarity. Fears rise that these deaths may be manipulated to hasten the creation of the “dangerous” autonomous Christian region in the Niniveh Plain.
Mosul: more kidnappings and murders of Christians, to force them to the plain of Nineveh
A 60 year-old businessman killed, his kidnappers had demanded an enormous ransom. Another faithful of Mosul kidnapped; the fate of the doctor who was kidnapped in Kirkuk remains shrouded in mystery, AsiaNews sources: the violence disguises a political project to drive Christians out the city and force them to the plain of Nineveh.
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