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  • » 05/22/2009, 00.00

    IRAQ

    Kirkuk: young Christian teacher is freed thanks to help of Muslims



    Joint intervention of army and tribal leaders led to the release of Namir Nadhim Gourguis, kidnapped on May 14th last. No ransom was paid. Decisive the mediation between Imam and tribal chiefs. Msgr Sako: “the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.

    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – Namir Nadhim Gourguis, a 32 year-old Christian teacher, has been freed.  A joint operation yesterday between the army and Arab forces of the reawakening in Kirkuk, led to the release of the young man who was kidnapped on May 14th by an armed group.

    AsiaNews sources in Iraq explain that “mediation with tribal chiefs” and “collaboration provided by the local Imams” proved to be decisive in securing his freedom.  The kidnappers “did not receive any ransom”.

    The kidnapping took place the morning of May 14th: an armed group of four men broke into the primary school in Ruwaidha village – in the sub district of Al Rashad, circa 30 from Kirkuk – abducting the young man. Local sourced explain that he “is from a simple and poor family background”, that the ransom demanded by the kidnappers was “very high” and the family “was unable to pay it”.

    Collaboration between the Christian community, the Arab world and local tribal chiefs was detrimental in securing the Namir release for which the Archbishop of Kirkuk, Msgr. Louis Sako had also immediately intervened.  “Today is a day of great celebration for the Christian community – Msgr. Sako tells AsiaNews –After 8 days Namir is free.  We thank God: today the Christian community of Kirkuk rejoices”.

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    See also

    16/05/2011 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded
    Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”.

    11/03/2008 IRAQ
    Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
    The appeal was launched by the Archbishop of Kirkuk, 12 days on from Msgr. Rahoo’s abduction. To the Bishops and Christians of the world: “do not remain indifferent to this suffering, do not leave us alone to face this trial”. Amid increased fears, today in Kirkuk 15 Muslim leaders ask once again that the prelate be released.

    24/03/2012 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: Christians celebrate reopening of parish of the Blessed Virgin
    The church was damaged by a bomb in 2006, during which a boy was killed. After a patient restoration work, the place of worship was opened with a Mass presided by Msgr. Sako. "The blood of the martyrs - the prelate says - is an invitation to persevere in faith."

    05/03/2012 IRAQ
    Kirkuk: Young Christians and Muslims promote peace and interfaith dialogue
    In the Chaldean cathedral in 35 young people, Muslims and Christians, met for the third time the idea of non-violence and peaceful coexistence. Imam of the city also addresses event and leads group on visit to the mosque. Mgr Sako: "young people, future and hope for the country for a lasting peace."

    26/04/2012 IRAQ
    "Building bridges of peace", a project that unites Christians and Muslims in Kirkuk
    The Chaldean archbishopric holds a reconciliation forum today. Some 50 political, religious and cultural leaders attend the event. Mgr Sako presents a seven-point proposal, signed by participants, as a "joint commitment" to dialogue. A committee is set to see to its implementation.



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