Monday, June 11, 2007

The Kidnapping of Fr. Hani Abdel Ahad

For the last week, I've been busy covering the details of Fr. Ragheed Ghanni's murder in Mosul, Iraq. Three days later, Fr. Hani Abdel Ahad was kidnapped in Baghdad. AsiaNews reports:

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Another Chaldean priest was abducted in Baghdad today. Fr Hani Abdel Ahad, in his early 30s, was taken in a north-eastern section of the capital called Suleikh along with five boys who were going with him to visit the city’s minor seminar.

The incident has plunged the Christian community in a state of gloom. Some faithful have reacted to terrible news saying that they have “the impression that they are all alone, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he felt abandoned by the Father.”

A day later, four of the kidnapped boys were released. AsiaNews reports:

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Four of five Christian boys abducted yesterday with Chaldean priest Fr Hani Abdel Ahad were released today in good physical conditions. Sources told AsiaNews that the 33-year-old priest and the fifth boy are still in the hands of the kidnappers. All six were on their way to the minor seminar in Suleikh, in one of the capital’s north-eastern neighbourhoods.

It appears that the kidnappers are common criminals interested in money. Immediately after they took the priest and the five boys they sent a ransom note to Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly.

I'll keep you updated with the latest developments. Please, pray for the safe return of Fr. Hani and the fifth kidnapped boy.

UPDATE I - June 17, 2007
Ankawa Online reports the release of Fr. Hani Abdel Ahad. Thanks God for his safe return.

Happy Father's Day to all the hardworking priests around the world.

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Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay, there's an article in the Detroit Free Press on the Iraqi Christians:

Detroiters Fear For Christian Iraqis

Interestingly, in old Detroit, there was a legend about the Nain Rouge or Red Dwarf, a very evil ghost, who would have fit perfectly in present day Iraq.

Also, an update on Father Ragheed's story in the Asia News:

Mosul (AsiaNews) – Before opening fire on Fr. Raghhed Gani and his three deacons, the killers demanded their conversion to Islam.

Any ways, hopefully they'll let
Father Hani and the boy go without abusing or converting them.

6/12/2007 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

I'm guessing the murderers didn't get what they want. Fr. Ragheed is already being called the martyr of the Iraqi Church. He reminds me of St. Francis of Assisi for some reason.

Ghosts in old Detroit? I'm not surprised :-)

6/13/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
Here's a story that will cheer you up: In 'leap of faith,' Catholic parish builds Protestant church

I don't think Fr. Ragheed died in vain - he's one of the true martyrs - not like these suicide bombers. The Israelis arrested a Palestinian woman, a mother of eight children, who was pregnant again, for an attempted suicide bombing.

Now think of this Fay - there are woman who would give everything to have a child, and some endure horrible pregnancies, so their
child can be born safely,
and this woman has eight children and another one on the way, and is trying to blow herself up. It's a world gone mad.

6/13/2007 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
The Jewish World Review has a strong article on Baghdad's Christians...
Baghdad believers being terrorized for crime of Christianity

Sadly, there's not much positive news.

Well Fay, you must know Michigan with all your family members living up there. One of the more interesting parts of the state is the UP, or Upper Peninsula. Never been there, but there's a great book of folklore from that region called, Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers.

A bloodstopper is very interesting - maybe there were some in Iraq.
It's a person who can stop the unnatural flow of blood, say from wounds, usually by reciting a passage from Ezekiel or saying "In
the name of Jesus Christ..."

Bloodstoppers are usually found in rural areas of the U.S., the Appalachians, the Ozarks, Oklahoma, the deep South, among Native American groups.

Fay, the next time you meet some American Indians, you should ask them if they know of any bloodstoppers.

6/14/2007 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


I can't imagine a pregnant woman wanting to kill her baby. That's beyond my imagination.

Today, there's a campaign to e-mail, call and fax the White House. Iraqi Christians are sending a request for help. I've been thinking about it all night as to whether I should use the tone in their message or just send a simple message. I think I'll go with one line only "Save The Iraqi Christians."


I'm so tired of writing. Sometimes, I think it's useless to think that any of this is making a difference. I just want this nightmare to end.

6/15/2007 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
Video Report on Iraqi Christians

I'm not sure when things will turn around in Iraq, and reading that story about the orphanage, made things worse. Sadly, they treat children with HIV in China the same way. But those images, Fay, were hard to look at. I mean, we get used to the bodies out in the streets, but to see the little helpless children... even the soldiers, who are used to rough things, must have been troubled.

6/19/2007 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

The pictures are heartbreaking.

Did you see the picture of the Iraqi female worker who posed for a picture with the starving kids? She's the worst person of the day.

6/19/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
I missed that photo, but the ones with the children, reminded me of the Holocaust pictures from concentration camps. Iraqis have become dehumanized.

I remember reading Rory Stewart's book, Prince Of The Marshes, and Rory was working for the CPA as deputy governor in Amara and Nasiriya provinces, and he talked about encountering Iraqi leapers.

They were isolated, uncared for,
barely able to walk, ignored, and the Iraqis would sometimes give them food by dumping it off in the road, like 100 yards away from their encampment. They wanted
nothing to do with them.

Fay, the whole Iraqi culture after a hundred years of genocides and gassings and war and coups and repression and ethnic cleansings needs a new, fresh start somehow.

6/19/2007 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Truth About Iraqis said...

Fay, I suggest we start a blogger campaign - you know, to get every blogger to have a link or special section dedicated to the Plight of Iraq's Christians.

Protecting Iraq's Christians should not be the responsibility of Iraq's Christians only.

All the bloggers who speak of democracy etc - well here is a chance to do something.

I think if ALL the Iraqi bloggers had something on their pages, at the very least we could increase awareness.

I know Imad is very, very aggressive on this issue as he is a patriotic Iraqi Christian from a well-known family in Iraq.

I am actually writing something today about this ...

Email and let me know what your thoughts on this are ...


6/22/2007 06:22:00 AM  

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