Kidnapped Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead

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."

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  1. Phil says:

    May he rest in peace, and see the glory of the Lord as we speak.

    Still, it’s only human to prefer praying for strength and faith for a bishop suffering under such conditions than to pray for his successor, as we must now.

  2. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

    The death of Archbishop Rahho brings great sadness. May God be with the Catholics of Iraq and may the Holy Virgin comfort them in their suffering.

  3. Ottaviani says:

    The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

    Its only a matter of time before Muslims themselves see that peace can only come to Iraq through Our Lord Jesus Christ – NOT through their false prophet Muhammed.

    St. Thomas, pray for us
    St. Charbel Makhluf, pray for us
    Our Lady – Queen of Martyrs, pray for us

  4. Maureen says:

    I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: “How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” And white robes were given to every one of them….

  5. cor ad cor loquitur says:

    Grant your servant Faraj eternal rest, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.

    Our Lady, please pray for the faithful in Iraq, and for all the people of that troubled land.

    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.

  6. Khaled says:

    God rest his soul. And may he intercede for us.

  7. EJ says:

    RIP – and may the Lord have mercy on those who have his blood on their hands.

  8. magdalen says:

    Islam, when in power, will not tolerate Christianity. We will see more
    such martyrdoms, I think.

    May the soul of this faithful bishop who stayed in this bloodied land, rest
    in peace.

    Ave Maria!

  9. William Radovich says:


  10. William Radovich says:

    “Let us pray…..for the liberty and exaltation of our holy mother
    the Church (especially in Iraq and China). Through the same Christ
    Our Lord. Amen.”

  11. Guy Power says:

    According to CNN at 0745 (Pacific time):

    The apparent kidnappers had contacted relatives on Thursday and told them the body was in the eastern part of town. Relatives and authorities went to the location and found the body, which had gunshot wounds.

    Requiescat in Pace.

  12. Patricia Gonzalez says:

    “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” May this brave priest of God share the Lord’s own glory. A tragedy for the Church in Iraq, already beset by so much stress, and a tragedy for the Church throughout the world, for we have lost a beloved brother in Christ.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine. Et lux perpétua luceat eis.

    Does anyone know what the current rules are on martyrdom and canonization? Would the late Archbishop of Mosul qualify? I hope so…

  14. Anguish, grief, and… then, thanksgiving for this great blessing to the Church, for there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, not abandoning the flock. May we see more of this, for the sake of the Church. It is then that we know that we are truly blessed by the Lord. The Archbishop, and his companions, lead the way.


  15. Michael B. says:

    May his white robe be washed clean by his blood.

    Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Pray for us.

  16. Michael B. says:

    May his white robe be washed clean by his blood.

    Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Pray for us.

  17. God granted this man the grace of a true martyrdom. His is with Our Lord. Through his prayers before the throne of grace, may God grant great mercy to all Iraqi Christians and conversion to his murderers!

    Archbishop Paulos has followed his sons, Father Ragheed and the Subdeacon martyrs into heaven.

    God bless,


  18. Derik Castillo says:

    May God mercifully forgive him his sins and call him to his
    Right Hand Side.

    For us, lets this sad news be further motivation to be faithful
    to God until the end.

  19. porys says:

    Sangua maritbus – semen fidei

  20. The very best way to deal with it would be to declare him a martyr and a saint – which he is – and erect a parish in his homage, with a huge image. After it happened a few times, the Muslims would realize they are only helping the Church… and adding saints to the calendar. Besides, the whole image thing would touch a nerve there. :)
    May this holy martyr pray for us all.

  21. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    I was very concerned for Archbishop Rahho when I heard how violent his abductors were when they took him. Today would be a good day to dedicate entirely to the repose of his soul. God gave to him the grace to serve Him as a martyr. It should be seen as a great honour for all Chaldeans and all faithful.


  22. Matt Q says:

    Yes, Lord we pray the Archbishop rest in peace, and may thy perpetual light shine upon him.


    Hi blood cries out to God from the ground ( as with every murdered individual )!

  23. Matt Q says:

    Yes, Lord we pray the Archbishop rests in peace, and may thy perpetual light shine upon him.


    His blood cries out to God from the ground ( as with every murdered individual )!

  24. Johnny Womack says:

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.

    …and Lord? Please bring the Archbishop’s killers to your mercy.
    Grant them repentance unto life in your Holy Catholic Church.

    In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.


  25. Melody says:

    My prayers for his soul and the continuing hardship of the people in that part of the world.

  26. RIP Abp. Rahho.

    For the repose of his soul, oremus:

    Pater Noster qui es in caelis, Sanctificetur Nomen Tuum…
    Ave Maria gratia plena, Dominus Tecum…
    Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen!

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