Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Kidnapping of Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna

Another Chaldean priest was kidnapped in Baghdad yesterday. AsiaNews confirmed the news on its Web site:

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Yet another Chaldean priest was kidnapped this morning in Baghdad. He is Fr. Nawzat P. Hanna, parish priest of Mar Pithion, from the Baladiyat quarter. Confirmation of the abduction reached AsiaNews, via Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, Chaldean auxiliary bishop in the capital, who has invited Catholics to “pray for Fr. Nawzat’s immediate release”. The abductors have already made contact with the Chaldean Patriarchate, but as of yet there is no further news.

The priest was leaving the house of an ill parishioner, when he was stopped by a group of persons who had been waiting for him, says the bishop. Msgr. Warduni is convinced that a motive for ransom is behind the abduction, but among Baghdad’s faithful the rumour has spread that this morning’s sequester is in response to the Patriarch and bishops recent denouncements of persecution against the Christian community there. “By kidnapping another priest – anonymous sources tell AsiaNews – the terrorists kill two birds with one stone: they get rich and at the same time force the Patriarch to transfer him abroad, thus giving the whole community a very strong message”.

The forced exodus of Iraqi Christians from their homes, which started in Al-Dora distirct, has spread to other suburbs of Baghdad. A few days ago, a militant group burned St. Goerge Assyrian Church in Al-Dora district.

With all these rapid developments, we haven't heard a word from the Iraqi President or his Prime Minister. All is quiet at the Green Zone. It tells you how much those people are disconnected from reality on the ground.

UPDATE May 23, 2007
Thank you Mister Ghost for sending me the following good news:

Baghdad (AsiaNews) –Chaledean priest Nawzat P. Hanna freed yesterday evening in Baghdad after three days of captivity carries the signs of having been beaten. Msgr Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop of the capital’s Chaldean Catholic Church himself went to fetch the priest “in a certain part of the city” as he told AsiaNews today. His release took place at around 9.30 in the evening. “When he saw me – tells the prelate – Fr. Nawzat strongly embraced me, he was in tears and he was deeply tried; he then thanked all of those who had prayed for him in these days, The Virgin and the saint of his parish, Mar Pithion”.

I'm guessing he'll be transferred to Northern Iraq or asked to leave the country. Let's hope he recovers from this bad experience.

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Blogger Mister said...

Hi Fay,
I think the reason the Iraqi government isn't paying attention, is because they're all in the U.S.
undergoing medical tests.

I don't want to depress you further, but did you see Gaith's article in the Guardian on Basra? Poor Queen Amidala.

And Iraqi Slogger has an article on
Christian converts in Northern Iraq being threatened by al Qaeda in Iraq:

The thing I found funny about the article was, the little Iraqi girl
is wearing a Nike headband. It gave me a chuckle among the ever present sadness.

5/21/2007 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


They're silent because the U.S. government is silent about it too.

Check Zappy's latest post. The Iraqi politicians are taking two months holiday. It cracked me up when I read it. See, those politicians have no idea what's happening behind the safe walls of the green zone.

I worry a lot for the safety of Queen Amidala. Please, keep her in your prayers. I know your prayers work.

5/22/2007 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


Can you put a link to Ghaith's article?

Thnak you.

5/22/2007 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
I writing this under duress. LOL.
Two days in a row, I've been hit with migraine headaches. Last time I had them was before the war started.

Now for the bad news, Ghaith was hit with shrapnel while in Lebanon:

Wounded in action

The Guardian's award-winning journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad was hit by shrapnel during fighting between Lebanese troops and militants yesterday. Abdul-Ahad, 32, who is based in Beirut, had travelled to Tripoli to investigate reports of the fighting. He had followed soldiers into a building on the outskirts of Tripoli when a grenade was hurled down the stairwell, injuring him and one of the soldiers. He was released from hospital last night after being successfully treated for wounds sustained when three small pieces of shrapnel lodged in his arm and thigh. Abdul-Ahad, who studied architecture at Baghdad University, has been twice shortlisted for foreign correspondent of the year at the British Press Awards. He has won a number of awards for his reporting from Iraq, including the Martha Gellhorn prize last year, in which judges praised his "vivid, humane, independent and brave" reporting.

Link to Ghaith's piece on Basra:

Fay, My San has a good story on Iraqi Christians/other Iraqis smuggled in to the U.S.:

5/22/2007 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder why our government is silent about this, but then again there's plenty of other serious things as well that they are silent about. It makes you wonder sometimes if they've forgotten they benefit us, not the other way around. Hope he gets released soon...

5/22/2007 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


As we say in the Middle East, Ghaith is a cat with seven souls. Hopefully, his injuries aren't serious.

I think there's a detention center in Texas for people arrested while crossing the border from Mexico. So, I'm not surprised San Antonio newspaper wrote a story about.

5/23/2007 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


The Iraqi government has started to feel pressured lately. Yesterday, they had a meeting to discuss the situation of Iraqi Christians and provide protection to them. As I learned lately, I believe it when I see it.

5/23/2007 09:33:00 PM  

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