Four Christians Killed In Iraq

Thursday, September 25, 2008

By BosNewsLife News Center

MOSUL, IRAQ (BosNewsLife) -- Authorities were under pressure Wednesday, September 24, to investigate the death of at least four Christians in the Iraqi town of Mosul, amid signs of a fresh wave of anti-Christian violence in Iraq.

In one of the latest incidents, a Syrian Catholic man, Rayan Nafei Jamooa, was shot and killed September 10 by suspected Muslim militants, Iraqi Christians confirmed. The murder came just two weeks after his father, Nassar Jamooa, was reportedly kidnapped and killed.

“The reason [for Nassar Jamooa’s kidnapping] would definitely be a religious one,” said Father Bashar Warda, dean of St. Peter’s Seminary in Ankawa, a small town near Erbil, in published remarks. “Nobody asked about money, they just kidnapped and killed him.”

Catholic sources also confirmed the death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, who was kidnapped militants. The doctor was apparently killed on or just before September 4, although his family reportedly paid a ransom of some $20,000 for his release.


Two days earlier another Christian, identified as Nafi Haddad, was kidnapped and killed, Catholic news service AsiaNews reported. The killings have underscored concerns within churches that despite security improvements, minority Christians remain targets of violence in Iraq.

Several church leaders have also been killed, including Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose human remains were found March 13. During the ambush that preceded the archbishop's captivity, three men acting as his bodyguards were also killed by the suspected Muslim militants, his church said.

Last year, the Iraqi Christian community reportedly suffered at least 47 deaths, 13 of them in Mosul, including priest Ragheed Gani, who was murdered on June 3, with two other church leaders. In addition several churches and an orphanage have been struck by bombings, Iraqi Christians said.

Thousands of Christians have fled Iraq in recent years. Many of them stay in neighboring countries Jordan and Syria.