Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Death of the Chaldean Archbishop

Funeral of the Chaldean Archbishop

While I was in Kentucky for the past week I did not hear any news from the outside world. I was greatly saddened when I got home to find out that the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead on Thursday. There were no bullet holes. However, the archbishop did have medical problems and required daily medications. Whatever happened, the extremist who killed three other Christians and kidnapped the bishop are responsible for his death.

The sufferings of the Chaldean Christians in Iraq is a growing problem. Priests and deacons have been killed, lay members have also been targeted. 40 Churches have been bombed. The small ancient Christian community is leaving Iraq. The death of a culture is a very real possibility.

The Pope has called out, forcefully and emotionally for an end to the massacres in Iraq. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed their extreme saddens over the death of the archbishop. The Bush administration has yet to acknowledge that Christians and other minorities are persecuted in Iraq on the basis of their religion.

We must continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, pray for support for the refugee programs and pray that governments demand an end to this specific, callous and ruthless persecution.

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