Erkebiskop Paulos Faraj Rahho ble funnet i en grav i det nordlige Irak torsdag. Han ble kidnappet for to uker siden. Al Qaida har flyttet nordover, og de kristne – kaldeere – er utsatt.
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-Qaida 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.
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.