21 March 2018
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  • » 10/13/2006, 00.00


    Some 500 people attend funeral of beheaded priest

    Relatives confirm that US$ 350,000 ransom was demanded. Sunni Ulema Council condemns the killing: "a cowardly murder [. . .] committed by people who want [. . .] to start a religious war".

    Mosul (AsiaNews) – Some 500 people attended yesterday the funeral of Fr Paulos Eskandar at Mosul's Syrian-Orthodox St Ephrem Church. Father Eskandar, who was abducted on Monday, was founded beheaded some time later.

    The clergyman's relatives confirmed that his captors had demanded the payment of a US$ 350,000 ransom and that his church apologise for the Pope's Regensburg remarks about Islam.

    In condemning the murder, Mgr Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary Chaldean bishop of Baghdad, confirmed "negotiations were underway but that the amount of money was too high and could not be raised. For this reason they decapitated him".

    Father Eskander's decapitated body was found on Wednesday in Mosul's Muharaibin neighbourhood. His arms showed signs of torture.

    Iraq's highest Sunni religious authority, the Ulema Council, called the priest's death "a cowardly murder". In a press release, they said that the Orthodox priest was well known for "his nationalist views and opposition to the occupation".

    "The Ulema Council," the statement said, "condemns this cowardly killing and will not forget those who are behind this crime, committed by people who want to deprive the country of every religious and national symbol that can hold Iraq together by trying to start a religious war between sons of the same nation".

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    See also

    01/08/2005 IRAQ
    In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion

    12/10/2006 IRAQ
    Decapitated Syrian-Orthodox priest laid to rest in Mosul
    Funeral held today. Captors demanded public apologies for Benedict XVI's Regensburg address and payment of US$ 250-350,000 ransom. Christians are enduring more brutal violence; a 14-year boy is crucified.

    15/08/2011 IRAQ
    Attack against Kirkuk’s St Ephraim Syrian Orthodox Church
    A bomb exploded at around 1.30 am. No one was killed or injured, but the church was heavily damaged. The incident follows others against Kirkuk Christians in early August.

    18/04/2008 IRAQ
    Love for our “Muslim brothers and for Iraq” in Mgr Rahho’s Will
    The Will of the Chaldean archbishop slain by Islamic terrorists last month is published. It includes no material bequests but a strong message upon which to build peace and love among religious communities. His notion of death is one of openness, of “giving oneself to a new and infinite God”.

    01/08/2005 IRAQ
    The Church in Iraq does not give in to terrorism
    A year ago terrorist attacks were carried out against five churches—St Paul's Church in Mosul was one of them. Today the Chaldean Bishop celebrated a mass to commemorate the event. "The Church is much better today [. . .] we have learnt to put into practice values like forgiveness".

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