Mosul, IRAQ - The Chaldean community in Iraq remain vulnerable victims of kidnap, torture, and murder by Islamic fundamentalists twisted by hatred. News of the torturous death of a 65-year-old doctor, Tariq Qattan, kidnapped recently by a terrorist group is being released by AsiaNews. “The family paid a $20,000 ransom, but it was not enough to free Tariq,” say sources.
Tariq Qattan is one of the many Iraqi Christians kidnapped by fundamentalists for extortion. For the family of Nafi Haddad the outcome is just as unbearable. Haddad was also kidnapped and killed.
Despite assurances by the Iraqi government Christians remain vulnerable targets. “Iraqi police continue to ignore investigating or prosecuting those involved,” says relatives of the Haddad family close to the matter.
Chaldeans have all but fled out of Mosul or Iraq due to the dangers Christians specifically face. More than 75% of the Christians have abandoned their property and sought refuge. Within the past few months the funerals of Faris Gorgis Khoder, his driver, and Ramy and Samir, two of Bishop Rahho’s bodyguards occurred in Karamles, a Christian village near Mosul.
The Chaldean community has endured a series of attacks on Christian property. A wave of bombings struck the Chaldean church of the Immaculate Virgin, the Chaldean Church of St Paul, which was almost destroyed, the entrance to the orphanage run by the Chaldean sisters in al Nour, a Nestorian church, and the convent of the Dominican sisters in Mosul Jadida.
The continued killings of Christians in Iraq have left many moderate Muslims to question the sincerity and authentic leadership of Imams. Beginning the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, many moderate Muslims still remain mute in condemning the attacks and the Muslim leaders of the region. “They claim to be a religion of peace. Only killing in the name of their religion is what is happening,” says Hadeer Heso.
Pope Benedict XVI says that he is "embittered by this execrable new act, which profoundly affects the whole Church in the country, and in particular the Chaldean Church". He also expresses his "closeness" to the patriarch, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly and to "that entire, sorely tried Christian community, and also to the family members of the victims". The pope, finally, invited the universal Church "to unite with its fervent prayer the intention that the Iraqi people may find the path of reconciliation and peace".