Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chaldean Bishop Rahho Kidnapped Then Killed In Mosul

AP Photo / Courtesy of Rev. Amer Youkhanna

Chaldean Catholic archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho poses by St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Nov. 2007.

ORIGINAL POST - Feb 29, 2008
Ankawa Online reported Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Bishop of Musul was kidnapped this afternoon. Bishop Rahho was kidnapped when he left his home after attending Stations of The Cross at The Holy Spirit Chaldean Church in Mosul. His driver and two bodyguards were killed at the scene by unidentified kidnappers.

This is another setback to the dwindling Iraqi Christian community in Mosul. Last year, they lost Fr. Ragheed. They say, God doesn't give people more than they can take. I'm not sure how much more they can take. I'm yearning for peace in Iraq. But peace had turned its back on my native country a long time ago.

UPDATE I - March 13, 2008
The terrorists who control the streets of Mosul didn't spare the life of Bishop Rahho. Their bloody spirit turned bloodier with the murder of Bishop Rahho.

Thanks to the American invasion, which turned Iraq into a nightmare. Another mission accomplished.

UPDATE II - March 16, 2008
Below are reflections on the life and death of Bishop Rahho by Baghdad Hope:

Light a candle for Mgr. Faraj Paulus Rahho.
Touching remembrance of Mgr. Faraj Rahho.
Funeral mass in Karamles for Mgr. Faraj Paulus Rahho.
Karamles: another day of mourning.
Karamles: symbol of the fate of Iraqi Christians.
"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves."
Don't blow out the candles for Mgr. Rahho!
Death of Mgr. Rahho: tears and pain in Erbil.
Mgr. Faraj Pauls Rahho is dead!

UPDATE III - March 16, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Iraqi people during the Palm Sunday mass in St. Peter's Square at The Vatican {Via Zenit):

At the end of this solemn celebration in which we have meditated on Christ's Passion, I would like to recall the late Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Monsignor Paulos Faraj Rahho, who tragically died a few days ago. His beautiful witness of fidelity to Christ, to the Church and his people, whom he did not want to abandon despite numerous threats, moves me to cry out forcefully and with distress:

Enough with the bloodshed, enough with the violence, enough with the hatred in Iraq! And at the same time I make an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for five years have endured the consequences of a war that has provoked upheaval in its civil and social life:

Beloved Iraqi people, lift up your heads and let it be you yourselves who, in the first place, rebuild your national life! May reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and respect for the civil coexistence of tribes, ethnic groups and religious groups be the solidary way to peace in the name of God!

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Blogger Jon Hermiz said...

From what I have heard as I have family in and around the city is they want nearly 2 million dollars for his release. There are a couple of issues however, for one, no one really knows if he is dead or alive. For instance, when mediators asked to speak with him on the phone on several occassions they were told he was asleep, another time they stated he was in the restroom. It seems the terrorists are trying to steal money after committing a major crime.

The other men were killed and buried in the village of Karemlash (my original hometown). My uncle was a good friend of Rahho, he could not help but to weep about this tragedy.

There is some comfort in knowing that Rahho may be with God or at least he is prepared to be with God. As for the terrorists there temporary happiness will be filled with emptiness one day.

God bless,

3/09/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Hi Jon,

I share your opinion that Bishop Rahho may already be with God and it's a matter of time before the terrorists send his body to the community. I hope we're both wrong though. We need to keep him in our prayers. Either way, it's tragic for something like this to happen to community.

3/09/2008 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

I meant "to our community."

3/09/2008 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jon Hermiz said...

Well since the last time I have posted there is some additional updates. This is not verifiable however, it may not be true but it came from several good sources.

If you know Bishop Rahho you know he is a very very just man who believes in Christianity quite deeply. From what I have heard is he does not want people to pay a ransom, he believes his faith has already saved him (sure you can call him hard headed, but he is strong to his word). So the word on the street is he is alive and if he is faced with death he is willing to take it because of his great faith.

The terrorists have been notified that there ransom can be paid. I do not remember nor do I recall the name of the man willing to pay the ransom, I think he was part of the church group or has ties to the churches.

So for now the Bishop is alive. He will not bow down to the terrorists demands..and rightfully so.

May God lead him and change the paths of the terrorists to repent and give up living life with a sword.


3/11/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jon Hermiz said...

Horrible news

Its even on

3/13/2008 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Liam said...

I thought of you when I heard this sad news. There's not much I can say, but I will keep the people of Iraq in my prayers.

3/14/2008 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Thank you Liam.

Please, keep all Iraqis in your prayers. There's no safe place in Iraq any more. Even my friend in Basra left to Sweden recently considering Basra is portrayed as a successful story.

3/14/2008 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...

Hi Jon,

Last week, my manager asked me if I think Bishop Rahho was still alive. I told him that I believe he's dead considering the recent attacks against Iraqi clergymen in Mosul.

I hope the Bishop's smile shines over Mosul forever and ever.

3/14/2008 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger nadia n said...

It's so horrible that something like this had to happen for people to realize that this is such a desperate problem.

3/14/2008 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

For today, I have made my post on my blog a tribue to this Catholic martyr. May he intercede in heaven for peace in Iraq.

3/14/2008 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger The Anti-Wahhabi said...

This makes my blood boil. My deepest condolences to all Chaldeans affected by this disgusting murder.

To the blog author (and any other Middle Eastern Christians), I made a blog entry which displays the anger I hold on the silence of Muslims living in the West over this cleric's death.


3/20/2008 10:14:00 PM  

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