Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

6/4/2008 (7 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

On the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr.Ragheed Gani,the only witness to the killing speaks out.

Highlights

By

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

6/4/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


DAMASCUS (AsiaNews) - He could have run away, saved himself, but he went to meet his destiny without fear.

Fr Ragheed Gani, killed one year ago in Iraq, died because up until the very end he remained convinced that Christians should not be afraid, that "God's house cannot be closed!".

On the first anniversary of the "martyrdom", the only witness to it is speaking out: Bayan Adam Bella, wife of one of the three subdeacons murdered in cold blood together with their pastor on June 3, 2007, in Mosul. This is the same diocese that last March lost its bishop, Faraj Rahho, also a victim of terrorism.

The woman, interviewed by Ankawa.com, is now a refugee in Syria together with her four children. They live with her brother-in-law's family.

She suffers greatly and is full of questions over a fate that she is still not able to understand, and over her continuing difficulties in obtaining a visa. But now, twelve months later, she finally has the strength to give a more complete account of those tragic moments.

After celebrating the Eucharist in his parish, the Church of the Holy Spirit, Fr Ragheed had departed by car together with one of the deacons, his cousin Basman Yousef Daud.

Bayan was in a car behind them, together with her husband, Wahid Hanna Isho, and the other deacon, Gassan Isam Bidawed. Recently the three had begun to accompany the priest wherever he went in an effort to protect him after repeated death threats.

"At a certain point", the woman recounts, "the car was stopped by armed men. Fr Ragheed could have fled, but he did not want to, because he knew they were looking for him. They forced us to get out of the car, and led me away.

Then one of the killers screamed at Ragheed, 'I told you to close the church, why didn't you do it? Why are you still here?'. And he simply responded, 'How can I close the house of God?'

They immediately pushed him to the ground, and Ragheed had only enough time to gesture to me with his head that I should run away. Then they opened fire and killed all four of them".

At this point, Bayan fainted. In the hours immediately after the killing, the bodies remained abandoned on the road because no one dared to get close to them. They were all buried in Karamles.

Bayan has many questions: "Why did they make me a widow, why did they tear the word 'papa' from the mouths of my children? What did we do wrong? What did my husband do?", she asks, addressing the terrorists.

In August of 2007, she asked the UNHCR for humanitarian asylum in the West, but the difficulties are enormous.

"At first no one believed my story. How can they shut the door in the face of such suffering?". In January of 2008, she met again with UN staff. Now she is waiting for nothing more than to start life over for herself and her children.

Ceremonies commemorating the four martyrs were held in northern Iraq. In Rome, the Pontifical Irish College organised a conference last May 31 entitled "Witnesses to Christ, Past and Present", to recall the sacrifice of Ragheed, a former student of the college.

Cardinal Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and Monsignor Parolin, undersecretary for relations with states, participated in the event.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

Successor to Mother Teresa dies at 81 Watch

Image of The second among 11 children of a Nepalese Hindu family, who settled in Bihar state of India, Sister Nirmala was born on July 23, 1934. She later graduated from Patna Women's College, managed by Apostolic Carmel nuns.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The successor to Mother Theresa, Sister Nirmala Joshi has died at the age of 81. People all over the world remember her for her selfless dedication to helping the poorest of the poor, as the leader of Missionaries of Charity, or MC, for two consecutive terms. ... continue reading


China's Yulin Dog Meat Festival continues despite global outrage Watch

Image of CFP

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The annual dog meat festival in Yulin, China went on despite a major online campaign to put a stop to the highly controversial event. Protesters campaigning against the event outside a government office, Monday, were disbanded forcibly by unknown men. According to ... continue reading


Sexual inequity in India leads girls to suffer the worst from malnutrition Watch

Image of Those lucky enough to survive, grow up without enough energy, protein, vitamins and minerals, causing their brains and bodies to be stunted which means they cannot fulfill their physical, academic or economic potential.

By Ruhi Kandhari, Thomson Reuters Foundation

When Palak was found barely breathing buried under a mound of soil in an impoverished village in eastern India, doctors who treated the abandoned newborn girl knew that nursing her back to health would not be easy. DHARBHANGA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


CHAOS IN THE STREETS: Dozens of zoo animals run wild in the streets after devastating flood in Tbilisi, Georgia Watch

Image of [Photo by: Tinatin Kiguradze]

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lions, bears, wolves, birds and a hippo were only some of the animals that escaped a zoo after a heavy flooding in Tbilisi, Georgia. The flooding completely destroyed the protective enclosures in the city's zoo. As a result, the capital of Georgia was placed on ... continue reading


19-year-old GIANT TORTOISE takes a stroll through the streets of Tokyo Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bon-chan, a giant tortoise, slowly strolled through Tokyo's streets, to the delight of the many Japanese people he met along his very slow journey. The  3-feet-long, 70 kilograms (150 pounds), male African spurred tortoise, is owned by Hisao Mitani. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


CHILD BRIDE CRISIS: Unprepared young girls forced to marry, have children, undermining nation's future Watch

Image of Densely populated Bangladesh suffers frequent flooding and other natural disasters. The rights group said floods, cyclones and river erosion exacerbate child marriage by pushing families into greater poverty.

By Emma Batha, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Bangladesh must ramp up efforts to tackle its "epidemic" of child marriage -- a problem fueled by the country's repeated natural disasters, rights campaigners said on Tuesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) also called on the ... continue reading


Journalist set on fire in India for controversial Facebook posts Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Police claim journalist, Jagendra Singh, set himself on fire before they arrived to arrest him for posting allegations against Ram Murti Verma, a cabinet minister on Uttar Pradesh's legislative assembly on Facebook. However, according Singh's relatives, he was actually ... continue reading


Straight from the Bible: Resembling the words of Exodus, thousands of real-life toads swarm the roads after storm Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of toads swarmed an area at Liaoning Province, China after a heavy downpour, hopping out of a lake nearby. The toads were filmed as they populated a certain area on the of Ganjingzi Qu, Liaoning Sheng with a reminiscent view of a Biblical plague written in ... continue reading


Chinese scenic national park to feature world's largest glass-bottom bridge Watch

Image of It is yet another sensational construction on the part of China, but it is definitely not recommended for those with an abiding fear of heights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is yet another sensational construction on the part of China, but it is definitely not recommended for those with an abiding fear of heights. The scenic national park Zhangjiajie, in the country's Hunan province, is set to open the world's longest and ... continue reading


HORRORS! Chinese surgeon transplants the heads of 1,000 mice - and wants to go further . Watch

Image of The head transplant surgeries are part of the reason surgeon Xiaoping Ren left his job at the University of Cincinnati for China to conduct his research.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heads or tails? Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren has done a little of both. Performing roughly 1,000 head transplants on mice since 2013, Ren has had more success than anyone else with the surgery has. As evidenced by some recent photos, the mice have new heads ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 12:1-11
1 It was about this time that King Herod started ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 29th, 2015 Image

St. Peter, First Pope
June 29: Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter