I regret to report some bad news. From Asia News.
The archbishop of Mosul is dead
Bishop of Arbil: "A heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter".
Mosul (AsiaNews) – The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead. Archbishop Faraj Rahho was kidnapped last February 29 after the Stations of the Cross. His kidnappers have given word of his death, indicating to the mediators where they could recover the body of the 67-year-old prelate. "It is a heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter", Rabban al Qas, bishop of Arbil, tells AsiaNews in response to the news.
BAGHDAD (AP) – Gunmen kidnapped a Chaldean Catholic archbishop Friday in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police and the church said, in another attack targeting Iraq’s small Christian community.
An aide to Iraq’s Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of the church, said he did not know who was behind the kidnapping of the 65-year-old archbishop.
Last year’s International Religious Freedom Report from the U.S. State Department noted that Chaldean Catholics comprise a tiny minority of the Iraqi population, but are the largest group among the less than 1 million Christians in mostly Muslim Iraq.
Churches, priests and business owned by Christians have been attacked by Islamic militants and many have fled the country.
"Particularly in Iraq, Christian families and communities are feeling increasing pressure from insecurity, aggression and a sense of abandonment," Benedict said at the time.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also pledged last fall to protect and support the Christian minority.
In an interview with AsiaNews, a Vatican-affiliated missionary news agency, in November, Rahho said the situation in Mosul was not improving and "religious persecution is more noticeable than elsewhere because the city is split along religious lines."