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Why No U.S. Outcry Over the Kidnapping of Archbishop Rahho?

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online

LOS ANGELES -- On Friday February 29, 2008 the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped at gunpoint. Three men traveling with him were killed.

The terrorists who perpetrated this evil act attacked the Bishop's car some 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad in Eastern Mosul. They executed the driver and two other unarmed men.

Provincial police spokesman Brigadier-General Khaled Abdul Sattar, a witness, indicated "Gunmen opened fire on the car, killed the other three and kidnapped the archbishop,"

The saintly Archbishop has not been heard from since.

He had just left the Parish Church in Mosul, Iraq. This Church is dedicated to the Holy Spirit and was the parish Church of Fr. Ragheed Ganni, the Iraqi Martyr.

Last year, on the Feast of Pentecost, armed Muslims confronted Father Ragheed Ganni along with three of his sub-deacons, Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed.

These three clergymen had just left the celebration of Holy Mass at this Parish Church on Pentecost. They held the three men at gunpoint, demanding that they convert to Islam or die.

The four men then gave their lives for the ancient Catholic Christian faith.

On Friday of last week, the 67 year old Archbishop had also just completed leading the faithful in prayer. This time it was the Stations of the Cross, a devotional practice wherein Catholics remember Jesus' ascent up the Mountain of Golgotha to be crucified.

Now, almost a week later, authorities are no closer to finding him or even identifying who kidnapped this beloved Church leader. He walks his own way of the Cross, with the Master and Christians throughout the world must join with him in prayer and solidarity.

The outcry from the Holy See to this act of barbarism was swift, strong, impassioned and has remained constant. Pope Benedict XVI immediately referred to this kidnapping as a "deplorable act, which is a powerful blow to the whole Church in the country".

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki also quickly responded. He wrote to the Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, proclaiming his outrage and expressing "deep sadness and grief".

His office then issued a formal statement saying, "The prime minister has issued an order to the interior minister and all security officials of Nineveh province to follow the case and work very hard to release (Rahho) as soon as possible...The Christian sect in Iraq is one of the basic components of Iraqi society and can never be parted from its people and civilisation. Any assault on its sons represents an assault on all Iraqis."

On Monday Jordanian Prince El Hassan bin Talaj strongly and officially condemned the kidnapping and murders saying "These criminal acts defy our principles of common humanity and offend our religious values and codes of conduct."

The European Union's Slovenian President condemned the act on Sunday, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the Archbishop.

The UN envoy to Iraq called on the Iraqi government to step up its protection of minorities after the abduction of a Chaldean Catholic in Mosul, northern Iraq, last week.

However, as of today, there has been no formal statement issued from the Government of the United States.


At least there is action. On Wednesday, one European report indicated that a U.S. General in Iraq indicated that that the Archbishop was being held for ransom. The General noted he was not confident he would be freed alive, "He could easily be killed, and that would be really unfortunate."

The same report confirmed that U.S. troops are accompanying Iraqi special forces in a concentrated hunt for the Archbishop.

General Hertling spoke from outside of a conference in the Iraqi city of Tikrit. He indicated in brief comments to the Reuters News Agency that, though he had no knowledge of who was responsible for the murders and the kidnapping, he did not rule out al Qaeda in Iraq. "It could either be a criminal act for money or a terrorist act to raise money because they're running low on funds".

The Christians in Iraq are increasingly fearful.

One priest, Father Najeeb Mikhail spoke with the Christian news agency Compass Direct, which reports on persecuted Christians. He said of the kidnappers and murderers,"They want money, but in addition they want to break all the Christians in Mosul" he said.

He also noted that Archbishop Rahho's health had been badly affected by the stress of constant threats from militant gangs demanding extortion money, "One day before his kidnapping, they attacked the bishop's house in Mosul and broke many things."

Father Emanuel Youkhana of the Christian Aid Program "Nohadra Iraq" told a reporter, "You might release the bishop, but you cannot recover the confidence of the people...Within the last two or three months, the church is attacked and then the bishop is kidnapped, so how can people save their confidence?"

Fr Mikhail is convinced, as are most observers, that these escalating acts of targeted persecution against Christians are about driving the Christian community from Iraq. He noted, "There are some Muslims that want to put Christians out of Mosul...So through these criminals, they try to intimidate the relationship between Muslims and Christians."

With the growing outcry from heads of State and international leaders, why has there not been even one formal statement from the United States President or Administration?

Why have none of the Presidential candidates even mentioned the Archbishop of Mosul?

We cannot, we must not, remain silent any longer.











church on fire



Addar = March

Why No U.S. Outcry Over the Kidnapping of Archbishop Rahho?
March 5, 08

Iraqi Christians Cling to Last, Waning Refuges March 5, 08

Iraq PM Orders Action Over Kidnapped Archbishop
March 4, 08

Sons of Iraq: A Grassroots Surge Against Al-Qaeda
March 3, 08


Muslim Leaders Also Call for the Release of the Bishop of Mosul March 3, 08

Concerns Grow for Safety of Kidnapped Archbishop in Iraq March 2, 08

Iraqi Police Search for Abducted Christian Archbishop
March 2, 08

Assyria Rise Up - First Day Of Spring. March 2, 08

UN Calls for Iraqi Action After Archbishop Seized
March 1, 08

Eshvath = February

Iran's Exodus of Minorities Worries Leaders Of Fading Faiths Feb 29, 2008

Iraqi Christians: Flight to Freedom Feb 29, 2008

Fifth Anniversary Global Candlelight Vigil of the Looting of Iraq Museum. Feb 29, 2008

Ashur t. v. Interview with Mr. Sargon Lazar, of Foreign the Assyrian Democratic Movement Feb 29, 2008

Gunmen kidnap Iraqi Chaldean Catholic archbishop
Feb 29, 2008

Explosion in front of a liquor store in Baghdeda within Nineveh plain Feb 26, 2008

Assyrian Women Union in Erbil helped the "Diasplaced
Feb 26, 2008

Christian Council formation in Kirkuk Feb 26, 2008

Endangered Gaza Christians Mull Flight Amid Deaths, Firebombs Feb 26, 2008

Companions in suffering, An Interview with Thea Halo
Feb 25, 2008

Bishop of Arbil decries the Turkish attack on Christian Assyrian villages Feb 24, 2008

Web Site Targets Assyrian and Other Minorities in Turkey
Feb 24, 2008

Turkey Bombs Assyrian Village in Northern Iraq
Feb 24, 2008

Kirkuk: Christians together to make their voice heard
Feb 22, 2008

Kurdish Authorities Arrest Assyrian Deacon in North Iraq
Feb 22, 2008

Turkish Troops Enter North Iraq Feb 22, 2008

A Christian wedding in the Assyrian town Feb 21, 2008

Scholar Warns of the Danger of Dwindling Assyrians, Christians in the Middle East Feb 19, 2008

Scholar Warns of the Danger of Dwindling Assyrians, Christians in the Middle East Feb 19, 2008

The village in Gilgamesh- film is being plundered
Feb 17, 2008

CAPNI's humanitarian assistance for displaced Christians in northern Iraq Feb 17, 2008

UN Hints At Iraq Refugee Returns Feb 17, 2008

Petition From the Russian Assyrians to Iraq FM
Feb 15, 2008

State Dept. Press Briefing, Part IV, so what happened to the Christians? Feb 15, 2008

UN Seeks Help for 'Desperate' Iraqi Refugees Feb 14, 2008

You Tube Assyrian Videos up dated Feb 12, 2008

Egypt recognizes Christian converts Feb 12, o8

Archbishop: Iraqi Christians Not Losing Hope Feb 12, o8

Mercy Corps Launches Work in Syria to Assist Iraqi Refugees Feb 12, o8

Compensation for the Confiscated Assyrian Land in Ankawa not Enough Feb 11, o8

The Forced Assimilation Policy of Turkey Continues
Feb 11, o8

Churches in Iraq Becoming Targets for Attacks Feb 8, o8

Kirkuk Referendum and Hermaphrodites Feb 7, o8

For Christians Returning From Syria to Iraq is Fraught with Danger Feb 3, o8

New Star - Prince of Assyria Feb 3, o8

New Defense Authorization Act, will Help More Iraqi Refugees Feb 3, o8

Mess O’Potamian Art at Iraq's Museum Feb 3, o8

Kanoon II - January

“Assyrian Woman” in the Days of Mourning Jan. 31, 2008

Sanharib Malki, Top Goal Scorer in Belgium Jan. 30, 2008

In Iraq, Christians Say They Are Dwindling Jan. 29, 2008

Baghdad’s Anglican church benefits from former Alabama parishioner’s generosity Jan. 29, 2008

The Mar Bawai Diocese joins the Chaldean Church
Jan. 29, 2008

Solidarity and donations are not enough, the Iraqi Church needs concrete projects Jan. 27, 2008

Iraq: Assistance needed for internally displaced and refugees Jan. 24, 2008

Time to Take the power back! Jan. 24, 2008

Blast in Iraq's Mosul kills 15, wounds 132 Jan. 24, 2008

When there’s persecution, what can you do? Jan. 23, 2008

10 Iraq Churches Bombed in 2 Weeks Jan. 23, 2008

Ancient Christians in Iraq have managed to survive
Jan. 23, 2008

Situation of Iraqi Assyrian1 Christians Discussed in Nürnberg Jan. 22, 2008

Iraqis adjust to life in N.H. Jan. 22, 2008

The Hatred against Christians has Escalated in Turkey
Jan. 22, 2008

You Tube Assyrian Videos Jan. 21, 2008

Paul Batou: My Art, My People. Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

Caritas initiative for Iraqi girls: classes to shelter them from exploitation Jan. 18, 2008

Ransacked Baghdad museum details renovation progress
Jan. 16, 2008

Armenians of Moscow to organize picket at Turkish Embassy January 19 Jan. 16, 2008

Iran Plans on Destroying Tomb of King Cyrus Jan. 16, 2008

Iraqi Political Factions Jointly Pressure Kurds Jan. 14, 2008

Imam of Kirkuk: attacks against Christians are “against Islam” Jan. 14, 2008

Assyrian Aid Society of Iraq distributes humanitarian aid
Jan. 12, 2008

Iraqi Priest Abducted and Tortured in Iraq Because he Was Christian Jan. 11, 2008

Religious cleansing’ in Iraq Jan. 9, 2008

Two More Churches Bombed in Iraq January 9th Jan. 9, 2008

Iraqi Assyrians cling to roots even far from home Jan. 4, 2008

Canoon I = December

Iraqi Army delivers Christmas Season Tidings to Assyrian Students Dec. 17, 07

international Genocide Scholars Association Officially recognizes Assyrian, Greek Genocide Dec. 15, 07

Armenia should be the first country to recognise the Assyrian Genocide! Dec. 14, 07

Arrested in Kirkuk a gang specialised in kidnapping Christian doctors Dec. 14, 07

Charities hope to help Iraqi Christians Dec. 14, 07

Assyrian Professor Dies From Stab Wound Dec. 13, 07

Iraqi Christian woman and brother found dead in city with rise in religious vigilante killings Dec. 11, 07

Iraqi Assyrians: Barometer of Pluralism Dec. 11, 07

Assyrians in Syria Ask for Historical and Political Recognition
Dec. 10, 07

Baghdad Christians Celebrate Sunday Mass Dec. 10, 07

Vigilantes kill 40 women in Iraq's south Dec. 8, 07

Assyrians: From Bedr Khan to Saddam Hussein Dec. 8, 07

Sabri Attman's lecture tour in US Dec. 8, 07

My Email to Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes" Regarding his Dec. 2, 2007 Report on Christians in Iraq Dec. 7, 07

Christians leaving Basra despite decades of co-existence
Dec. 7, 07

Prize Pianist: Van Cliburn winner was short on confidence but long on talent Dec. 7, 07

Middle East the cradle of Christianity Dec. 6, 07

For Iraqi refugees in Lebanon either prison or repatriation
Dec. 5, 07

(CBS) 60 Minute's Report : Vicar: Dire Times For Iraq's Christians
Dec. 3, 07




October - November 07

August - September 07

June - July 07

May - April 07

February - March 07

December 06 - January 07

October, November 06

August, September 06

June, July 06
March April May 06
February 06
December05 Januray 06