Blood of the Martyrs: Christian Man Tortured, Beheaded in Kirkuk
He was 29 years old, a husband and the father of three young children
On Monday, May 16, 2011, a 29 year old Christian husband and father of three children was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq. His mutilated body, showing signs of extreme torture, was found by a bridge. His head had been severed and his eyes gouged out.
KIRKUK, Iraq (Catholic Online) - Last Friday, a 29 year old Christian husband and father of three children was kidnapped by Islamic militants in Iraq. A ransom of the equivalent of $100,000 US was demanded.
On Monday, May 16, 2011, his mutilated body, showing signs of extreme torture was found by a bridge. His head had been severed and his eyes had been gouged out.
The heroic Archbishop of Kirkuk, Louis Sako, praised the heroism of this Christian man and the continuing strength and faith of the Christian community in Iraq.
He strongly condemned the evil noting the growing hostility toward Christians in Iraq, "In all these years, I have never heard of a single Christian converting to Islam, despite the many threats."
He indicated that many Muslims regularly seek to convert to the Christian faith but noted "I am not allowed to baptize them. There is no religious freedom!"
In an impassioned plea he addressed the perpetrators whom he called, "those who were capable of committing such an inhuman act".
He asked them to consider Mr Issa's widow and the children that their eveil act had left as orphans noting, "If there is no human justice, sooner or later, there will be divine justice."
The Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda told Aid to the Church in Need that the "murder was meant to intimidate Christians so that in the future they will more readily pay ransom demands."
He indicated his strong suspicion that Islamist fundamentalists were behind the horror noting "that in some mosques hatred towards other faiths is still preached".
However, holding a minority position is Syrian Catholic Archbishop, Boutros Moshe of Mosul. He suspects the act was committed by criminal gangs seeking to extract money.
Representatives of "Aid to the Church in Need" (ACN) are visiting Iraq to evaluate the plight of the Church. They report a growing discouragement among Iraqi Christians.
The sentiment was captured by one priest who told them, "The Muslims speak to us constantly about a 'peaceful coexistence', but then when something happens, violence does not seem to be condemned by Muslim clerics."
Archbishop Bashar Warda Warda told Aid to the Church in Need that since the invasion of Iraq almost 600 Christians have been killed, 66 churches have been attacked and two convents, a monastery and a Church based orphanage destroyed.
Hundreds of Christian families fled to the north at the end of 2010 after the attack on Baghdad's Syrian Catholic Cathedral on October 31 where 58 people were killed and more than 70 others injured.
The Church, Our Lady of Deliverance, has become a symbol of the blatant hatred of Christians among Jihadist Muslims in Iraq and the heroic virtue of the Iraqi faithful.
The faithful had gathered for Mass when terrorists invaded the Church, killed the priest and held the worshippers hostage for four hours before they were freed in a rescue mission.
In the timeless words of the early Church father Tertullian, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." Let us pray for the dear suffering Christians in Iraq, the land of the martyrs.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- More than 100,000 Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia
- Free the Nuns of St. Thekla! Pope, Orthodox Leaders Urge Prayer for Kidnapped Nuns in Syria
- 'Tolerant' Muslims threaten holy war if Jews try to pray at site of ancient temple
- Embajador palestino en España se ofrece a cambio de liberación de doce religiosas en Siria
- HIV cases skyrocketing in Iran
- THIS OLD HOUSE: Amazing 10,000-year-old house uncovered in Israel
- Young girls and boys tortured and executed in Syrian civil war
- A VERY OLD TOAST! 3,700-year-old wine cellar found
- 5,000-year-old salt mines built by prehistoric men still in use today
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?