Order Denounces the Assassination
of NGO Representative at the United Nations Geneva on the death
of Archbishop Rahho
Olivier Poquillon, OP
Geneva, March 13, 2008 --The body of Chaldean Archbishop
Faraj Rahho of Mosul, in northwest Iraq, was found buried in the
city of Mosul Thursday, February 13, 2008. He had been kidnapped
Friday night, February 29th by armed men, as he was leaving the church
area after a religious ceremony.
Present in Iraq for several centuries, the Dominican Order vehemently
condemns the kidnapping and assassination of Archbishop Faraj Rahho,
man of God, devoted to peace, dialogue and service to his people.
He was coming from reaffirming several religious and community
Muslims of Iraq. The death of the spiritual leader of the
Chaldean community of Mosul cannot be justified under pretense
of religious reasons.
The Chaldean Church, of which Archbishop Faraj Rahho was one of
the leaders, in the north of Iraq, has been present in the country
since the coming of Christianity nearly 2000 years ago. The
Christians of Iraq are integrated with the people of Iraq by the
same language and culture. From earliest times Christians have
been involved in the development of social life, culture and economics
of the country.
The death of Archbishop Faraj Rahho, deprived of care by his kidnappers,
is a reminder of what happened to Father Raghid Ganni, a priest
of the same diocese and three deacons, assassinated in June 2007
as they were leaving the same Church, Holy Spirit in the city of
The accumulation of actions against the Christian community during
these last few months, more in Mosul than Bagdad, is contrary to
the Iraq culture towards a people who have helped to build Iraq. This
violence aimed against the Christians of Iraq produces serious
effects on the equilibrium of the country which is uncertain at
present and is being carried by the community and members of the
Assembly of the country.
Iraq is far from offering a solution to the difficulties in the
country caused by confusion at the center of the diverse Iraq Population.
The troubles and tensions of the people, remain due to 13 years
of embargo and 5 years of occupation.
Dominicans for Justice and Peace call on the authorities of politics,
religion and ethics in Iraq to take all necessary measures in their
power to protect minorities, especially the Christian community,
whose needs have been proved by the assassination of Archbishop
Faraj Rahho who gave his life for his community so they can continue
to live freely on the land of their ancestors.
Olivier Poquillon, OP
Permanent Delegate of the Dominican Orfder to the United
Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva
Translation from French by: Sr. Therese Groulx, OP