March 13, 2008
Iraqi church leader killed by kidnappers.
Earlier this month, Compass Direct reported on the "huge ransom" that kidnappers were demanding in exchange for the release of Iraqi Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho. Yesterday, Rahho's body was found outside Mosul.
The archbishop was kidnapped on February 29 by armed gunmen who killed his driver and two security guards. According to Nineveh deputy governor Khasro Goran, Rahho's church and family members had been in contact with the kidnappers, whose demands they apparently did not meet. Talks broke off several days ago, and the kidnappers contacted Rahho's relatives on Thursday to let them know where to find his body.
The BBC posted a good explainer piece about Chaldean Christians today. As Eastern-rite Catholics, Chaldean Christians use a Syriac liturgy - Syriac being related to Aramaic, the language most likely spoken by Jesus. About 550,000 live in Iraq, with a sizable community of about 50,000 in Mosul, a hotspot for insurgent activity.