Sad and Frightening

From CTV,

"The body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was discovered in a shallow grave in northern Iraq on Thursday, two weeks after he was kidnapped by gunmen in one of the most dramatic attacks against the country's small Christian community.

Pope Benedict XVI deplored Rahho's death, calling it an "inhuman act of violence that offends the dignity of the human being and harms the peaceful coexistence of the dear Iraqi people."

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them "crusaders" loyal to U.S. troops. Militants have attacked churches, priests and businesses owned by Christians. Many Christians have fled the country, a trend mirrored in many dwindling pockets of Christianity across the Islamic world.

Rahho, 65, was seized on Feb. 29, just minutes after he delivered a mass in Mosul, a city considered by the U.S. military the last urban stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq. Three of Rahho's companions were killed.

After two weeks of searching and praying, officials at the archbishop's church received a phone call Wednesday from the captors. The caller told the officials that Rahho had died and where to find his body, Monsignor Shlemon Warduni, the auxiliary bishop of Baghdad, told The Associated Press.

It was not immediately clear if Rahho was killed or if he died of an illness. Shortly after his abduction, church officials had said they were especially worried because the archbishop had health problems, which they did not identify.

There have been no claims of responsibility for the archbishop's kidnapping or his death.

The Chaldean church is an Eastern-rite denomination that recognizes the authority of the pope and is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church. Chaldean Catholics make up a tiny minority of the current Iraqi population but are the largest group among the less than 1 million Christians in Iraq, according to last year's International Religious Freedom Report from the U.S. State Department."

This worries me greatly.  I can only hope that Catholics and Christians everywhere choose not to respond with more violence and hate, but with forgiveness as Jesus spoke of in the Bible.  The war in iraq is not about religion, it is about money and politics.  Religion is only what people turn to in an attempt to make sense of these harsh times.  This war needs to stop so peace can be found.

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About Helmsman

Importing a Vox Blog.
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