of NGO Representative at the United Nations Geneva on the death
of Archbishop Rahho
Olivier Poquillon, OP
Geneva, Thursday, March 13, 2008 The body of Mgr. Faraj Rahho,
Chaldean archbishop of Mosul (North western Iraq) was found buried
in the outskirts of the city Thursday, March 13, 2008. He was abducted
on the evening of Friday, February 29 by armed men, while on his
way back home after a religious ceremony.
Present in Iraq for several centuries, the Dominican Order strongly
condemns the kidnapping and murder of Monsignor. Faraj Rahho, man
of God dedicated to peace, and dialogue in the service of his people.
As recently reaffirmed several religious and community leaders Muslims
in Iraq, the killing of the spiritual leader of the Chaldean community
of Mosul in no circumstances be justified by any religious pretexts.
The Chaldean Church, whose Mgr. Faraj Rahho was a major dignitary
in northern Iraq, is present in the country since the beginning of
Christianity, there are nearly two thousand years. Christians in
Iraq are an integral part of the Iraqi people with similar languages
and customs. They have always played a key role in the development
of social, cultural and economic fabric of the country.
The murder of Bishop. Faraj Rahoo comes in the wake of the Father
Raghid Ganni, a priest of this diocese and three sub-deacons, murdered
in June 2007 in the aftermath of the same Church of the Holy Spirit,
in the city of Mosul.
The accumulation of abuses against the Christian community during
the past few months, both in Mosul to Baghdad, contrary to the tradition
and culture of Iraq they have helped to build. Such targeted violence
against Iraqi Christians produced disastrous effects on the already
very precarious balance ente communities constituting the country.
Far from representing a solution to the country's difficulties, the
loss of diversity within the Iraqi people not to exacerbate tensions
and the plight of a people already widely felt by thirteen years
of embargo and five years' occupation.
Dominicans for Justice and Peace calls on the religious and moral
policies in Iraq to take all measures in their power to protect minorities
and particularly the Christian community shaken by the murder of
Mrg. Faraj Rahho.