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» 03/13/2008
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
03/13/2008 IRAQ
The archbishop of Mosul is dead
10/23/2008 IRAQ
More violence in Mosul: father and son killed because they were Christian
10/05/2008 IRAQ
Mosul, the relentless slaughter of Iraqi Christians
03/29/2008 IRAQ
Marches in the Christian villages: justice in the death of Archbishop Rahho
03/16/2008 VATICAN - IRAQ
Pope: enough with the massacres, enough with the violence, enough with hatred in Iraq!

Editor's choices
VATICAN
"Stop! I am asking you with all my heart. Stop!" says pope as he speaks out on the Middle East, Iraq and Ukraine He mentions children, victims of war, "from whom we take away the hope for a decent life," urging the parties to address "every diatribe with the tenacity of dialogue and negotiation and the power of reconciliation". As tomorrow marks 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, "a day of mourning," we should learn the lessons of history. The Gospel makes us know the true Jesus, the living Jesus, who speaks to the heart and is a life changer as he was for Saint Francis of Assisi. "The joy of finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God comes through, can be seen. Christians cannot hide their faith."
IRAQ - VATICAN
Saddened by "the timidity of the civilised world," Baghdad patriarch's heart bleeding "for the innocent in Iraq, Syria and Gaza" "Forget us not!" says Mar Louis Sako in a message to Card Barbarin on the occasion of the march of solidarity with Iraqi Christians, held today in Lyon.
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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