Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 15 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Isidore the Farmer
home iconChurch
line break icon

10 years after Mosul archbishop was killed, his beatification cause is opened



Paul de Dinechin - published on 03/17/18

This week marks the anniversary of Al-Qaeda's kidnapping and slaying of the Chaldean leader.

Ten years ago this week, on March 13, 2008, the body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, was found outside the city. The news of the assassination of the 65-year-old leader of Chaldean Catholics in northern Iraq quickly spread.

For nearly two weeks, Archbishop Rahho had been held captive by Islamists. On February 29, 2008, a militia had brutally attacked the prelate while he was leaving church. The terrorists shot at his car, killing his chauffeur and his bodyguards. The archbishop was then thrown in a car that quickly disappeared.

After that sorrowful Friday, no one received further news of the archbishop. Only the kidnappers, members of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, communicated to ask a ransom of 3 million dollars. Despite the involvement of Pope Benedict XVI in attempts to free the archbishop, the leader of the Chaldean community was eventually assassinated and his body abandoned.

Read more:
Pope Francis: “Our unity is seen in the blood of so many Christian martyrs”

Beatification cause

Today the Church in Iraq is looking for the martyrdom of the archbishop of the Chaldeans of Mosul to be recognized, along with that of other victims killed out of hate for the Christian faith.

“We must commit ourselves so that the sacrifice of this human life and of others are recognized by the Church,” explained Youssif Thomas Mirkis, the Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk. To “defend their faith,” explains the prelate, many Christians have sacrificed their lives. For them and for all those who wish to live on in their homeland, it is important that this death is remembered. According to the Chaldean prelate, it is a true “testimony of the integration of Christians″ in the region.

The sacrifice of Christians in Iraq killed for their faith is a drama that still continues today. On February 25 this year, a young Christian family man from Baghdad was killed in front of his home by a group of armed men. Nevertheless, the Archbishop of Kirkuk encourages the faithful to “always keep alive courage and hope,” and to “resist violence in the name of the Gospel.”

Read more:
Christians in the Middle East: Interview with Patriarch of Chaldean Catholic Church

Christians in the Middle East
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
Philip Kosloski
Ascension vs. assumption: What is the difference?
Philip Kosloski
What happened between the resurrection and ascension of Jesus?
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
J-P Mauro
We need better church music, say Catholics in the Philippines
Philip Kosloski
What was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
Larry Peterson
Benedict XVI called him “one of the most unusual saintsR...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.