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IRAQ: A priest is killed, a community mourns

March 14, 2008 |  8:49 am

Priest2

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.

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

Photo: An Iraqi boy holds up a picture of Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho during a memorial Mass at a church in Irbil, in northern Iraq, on Thursday. Credit: Associated Press

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