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IRAQ: A priest is killed, a community mourns

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Iraq’s scared and dwindling Christian community has nothing to do with the sectarian or ethnic troubles afflicting the country. No Christian Iraqi took up arms against anybody or formed a militia or set roadside bombs or even tried to block the formation of a government.

More than anyone else, Iraq’s Christians have been struggling just to survive against a torrent of troubles.

All of which makes the death of the 67-year-old Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho all the more tragic and troubling.

His half-buried corpse was discovered in Mosul on Thursday, apparently the victim of gunshot wounds he sustained during a Feb. 29 kidnapping that left three of his guards dead, Mosul police told the Los Angeles Times in today’s article by Baghdad correspondent Ned Parker and Rome bureau chief Tracy Wilkinson.

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Chaldeans are part of the Catholic Church. Chaldean parishes around the world grieved the loss of Rahho.

UPDATE, 2 p.m. PST: From Baghdad, Parker has filed a report about Rahho’s funeral service in Mosul:

‘I ask the people of the church to be steadfast and patient,’ Iraq’s Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, told mourners in an emotional ceremony. ‘He became a martyr because of his great faith, and his love for his service.’

Borzou Daragahi in Beirut


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