Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fr. Douglas Al-Bazy Disapprears In Baghdad

UPDATE Nov. 28, 2006
This morning, I prayed to St. Anthony as his candle burned for Fr. Douglas. I prayed again for his safe return to his family, friends and church. This afternoon, I got the good news that Fr. Douglas has been released.

Thank you for everyone who prayed for his safe return. Thank you St. Anthony for your help.

ORIGINAL POST Nov. 20, 2006
Yet another sad story from Iraq. AsiaNews reports:

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Christians in Baghdad fear yet another priest has been kidnapped. Fr Doglas Yousef Al Bazy - 34 years, Chaldean – left his parish yesterday morning and has not yet returned home.

The alarm was raised swiftly throughout Iraq and the diaspora via the Internet and SMS: the young priest’s community and leaders of Iraq’s Chaldean Church believe it is “highly likely” that he has been kidnapped. If their misgivings are proved right, this would be the latest in a long list of kidnappings targeting Christian clerics. Not only gangs of common criminals are suspected to be behind the spate of kidnappings.

The Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Mgr Shleman Warduni and the Iraqi Christian community have different theories regarding the latest wave of the kidnapping of Christian clergymen. AsiaNews reports:

The Auxiliary Bishop said: “There are many theories about why Christians are kidnapped: crime, religious fanaticism, money, the intent to create division among the people.” He continued: “We hope that those who have taken him have a conscience and understand that we priests desire only to bring the Good News to people and to work for the good of all Iraqis. We are for the unity of Iraq and we ask to be able to work together with our co-nationals to rebuild our country and to attain peace and security.” However, among the Chaldean community, the idea is increasingly taking hold that threats and kidnappings are not carried out indiscriminately, but that they “target those people who are most involved in the Christian community, the younger and more courageous ones, almost as if to give a warning to those who persist in hoping that they will be able to continue living in the country.”

I share the community's opinion. I think it's going to get worse for the community if the security situation doesn't improve.

Please, pray for the safe return of Fr. Doglas to his family, friends and church.

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