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    » 03/13/2008, 00.00

    IRAQ

    The blood tribute of the diocese of Mosul



    With the killing of Archbishop Rahho, the Sunni stronghold confirms its place as the most dangerous area for the Christian community. According to an autopsy, the bishop has been dead for five days. In 2007 alone, 47 Christians were killed in Iraq.

    Mosul (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul had been dead for at least five days before his body was found this morning by some members of the Church, following information provided by the kidnappers themselves.  This timeline is provided by the autopsy conducted on the body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, found in an abandoned area outside of the city, which is in part used as a trash dump.  This information comes to AsiaNews from sources close to the deceased bishop. Archbishop Rahho had been buried, says Bishop Warduni, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad.

    There do not seem to be any signs of violence on the body of the prelate, who was kidnapped on February 29.  He probably died because of the lack of medicines that he had to take regularly because of his serious health problems.  But the causes of his death are still not clear.

    Archbishop Rahho and the three men who were with him at the moment of the ambush join the long list of Christians killed in Iraq.  Mosul confirms its place as the most dangerous city for the Christian community, the presence of which has dropped by two thirds since 2003.  This diocese has paid a heavy tribute in blood.  In 2007 alone, at least 13 Christians are believed to have been killed - including Fr Ragheed Gani, slaughtered on June 3 - as well as two priests and a kidnapped bishop.  There have been many attacks on Christian targets.  The latest wave of violence came from January 6-17, 2008, when a series of explosions struck the Chaldean Church of Mary Immaculate, the Chaldean Church of St Paul, which was almost destroyed, the entryway to the orphanage run by the Chaldean sisters in al Nour, a Nestorian church, and the convent of the Dominican sisters of Mosul Jadida.

    According to a list drawn up by AsiaNews, a total of 47 people died of violent causes in Iraq last year, at least 13 of them in Mosul alone.

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    See also

    13/03/2008 IRAQ
    The archbishop of Mosul is dead
    Bishop of Arbil: "A heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter". The cause of death is still unknown. The pope's expression of sorrow.

    23/10/2008 IRAQ
    More violence in Mosul: father and son killed because they were Christian
    Despite the hopes of the government and part of the population, the massacre of Christians continues in Iraq. The killing could be another signal for the Christians to leave the country. Prime minister al Maliki promises to "punish the guilty and their supporters."

    05/10/2008 IRAQ
    Mosul, the relentless slaughter of Iraqi Christians
    Two new attacks yesterday against the Christian community: the owner of a clothing store and a 15-year-old boy were killed. A source for AsiaNews denounces the climate of "panic" that fills the city, and the "indifference of the media," which have passed over the slaughter "in silence."

    29/03/2008 IRAQ
    Marches in the Christian villages: justice in the death of Archbishop Rahho
    Responding to an appeal from the Nineveh bishops' council, the Christian community in the north takes to the streets: for almost a week, each day hundreds of people have marched holding photos of the "martyrs" of five years of war. Still no details on those responsible for the kidnapping and killing of the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul.

    16/03/2008 VATICAN - IRAQ
    Pope: enough with the massacres, enough with the violence, enough with hatred in Iraq!
    The anguished cry of Benedict XVI after the death of Paulos Faraj Rahho, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, following his kidnapping. Solidarity with the Iraqi people, marked by five years of war that have destroyed civil and social life.



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