Monday, October 15, 2007

The Kidnapping of Two Syriac Catholic Priests In Mosul

On Oct. 13th, Fr. Pius and Fr. Mazin were kidnapped on their way to church in Mosul. AsiaNews reports:

The two priests were on their way to say mass in the parish of Our Lady of Fatima in al-Faisaliya district, when they were taken. AsiaNews sources in Mosul say that until now there has been no claim of responsibility and recall that already their bishop Msgr. Basile George Casmoussa was kidnapped two years ago and later released.

Fr. Pius Affas, around 60 years old, was a fellow seminarian of Msgr. Casmoussa and a Bible studies professor at the seminary. He had been the director of the Arab language magazine “Christian thought” in the past. Fr. Mazen Ishoa is 35, and was newly ordained just a few months ago. He entered the seminary following his degree and on completion of military service.

As usual, the Iraqi government is silent. It doesn't intend to rescue the priests. However, we've learned not to expect such good gestures from the Iraqi government.

The Pope pleaded for their safe release in his Sunday homily. Dear Pope, it's about money and terrorizing the small Iraqi Christian community. That's the kidnappers' goal. No more; no less.

UPDATE - Oct 21, 2007
Some good news for this Sunday. Fr. Pius and Fr. Mazin are back to their parishes. They were released by their kidnappers on Sunday. I'm guessing a big ransom was paid to the kidnappers. Such is the state of law and order in Iraq these days.

The Iraqi government didn't say a word about the kidnapping. Who cares about two kidnapped priests? That's not the government's problem. The government is busy with it's Shia/Sunni/Kurdish agenda. NOW, that's their problem.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't read enough on the situation of kidnappings anywhere else besides here. If I may throw in my two cents, it seems like the Iraqi government is almost promoting these kidnappings by doing nothing about it. This way they can rid Iraq of all non-Muslims. Tell me if I'm mistaken.

10/16/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


you're probably right.

If the kidnapped were Shia or Sunni imams, the incident would have been all over the news.

10/17/2007 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
When I read of their kidnapping, I thought they were either goners or would be abused, before being released. But if they are already back at their parishes, then maybe
they escaped too much torment - the kidnappers were more interested in the money than ideology, this time around.

Have you been following Michael Yon?

He's severely criticizing the media
for their coverage of Basra. He claims that it's a lot better than the Media has portrayed it.

Personally I think he's nuts on this issue - if it's better, it's because the Shia have cleansed all the other ethnicities and sects from Basra, and now they are in a hudna or truce amongst themselves
before fighting it out for control
of the oil revenue, etc.

I hope Queen Amidala checks in soon
with some news, because I'm curious
as to the true state of Basra.

10/22/2007 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


I wrote another ranting about Basra. Check it here.

As for Yon, he's singing to the few who want to believe all is going well in Basra.

I miss Steven Vincent and his honest reporting from Basra.

10/22/2007 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
Thanks for the update on Basra. It's basically what I expected. For some reason, there seems to be a disconnect between what's happening on the ground and what's being reported.

Maybe, because many of the Western Journalists are limited to Baghdad, or embedded with the military and the artificial environment it creates. I prefer the work of the unembedded journalists, though I don't agree with everything they say.

I'm glad Queen Amidala is hanging in there, despite the difficulties. I always pray for her.

It seems that half the Iraqi blogosphere is in the US attending graduate schools at this moment. If the Queen and her entire family in Basra could attend American graduate schools, her situation would be solved. :)

That Institute of War and Peace is a great group. I read their website regularly and would not mind working for them. I read about
their reporter Sahar Hussein al-Haideri, a very courageous Iraqi woman, who lost her life.

Steven Vincent, Fay, his writing is missed. No non-Shia, I think, would
have survived the last three years
reporting from Basra. Too difficult to stay on good terms with five different militias, the police, and the Iranians.

I read that his translator Noor/Nour/Nooriya
is still waiting for the US embassy's approval.

10/23/2007 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Mister Ghost said...

Hi Fay,
Some more bad news about Christians in Iraq. According to Compass Direct:

More Kidnappings

Two Christians from a village outside of Mosul were kidnapped on Saturday afternoon (October 20) in Mosul city, according to a Christian source.

The captors demanded a large ransom from the family, who requested that the names of the Christians not be published for security reasons.

Separately, the son of a Syrian Orthodox priest was shot to death on Saturday (October 20) in the town of Basheeqa, 15 miles northeast of Mosul, according to Iraqi Christian website The website reported that he had just returned from the city of Dohuk and had stepped out of his car when he was killed by a single bullet.

The identity of the murderer and the motive for the attack remain unclear, according to the article.

10/24/2007 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


Yes, I head of the kidnapping news from Ankawa Online website. I noticed the number of reported kidnapping cases has gone up lately. That's really not good.

10/25/2007 06:22:00 PM  

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