Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

6/4/2008 (6 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 (6 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.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

She was just five years old -- Taliban kill their youngest victim without batting an eye during school attack Watch

Image of A Pakistani man expresses his outrage over the attacks. The Taliban have gained no sympathy from their brutality.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They were told not to kill the littlest children, but they did it anyway, firm in their belief they would see heaven that day. Khola Altaf was just five and attending her second day of school when she was killed in the Taliban attack on her school. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Horrific school massacre may backfire against Afghanistan Taliban Watch

Image of The Afghanistan military sweeps the streets following the deadly attack on the Peshawar school.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As members of Afghanistan's Taliban swept through an army-run school in Peshawar, the results were horrifying. Unarmed children cowered under benches as armed gunmen indiscriminately slaughtered all who stood in their path. All told, 132 children and nine school ... continue reading


Making good on Mao: China begins massive water transfer project, worlds largest Watch

Image of Once the final western leg of the project is completed, the canal system will reroute roughly 45 billion cubic meters of water annually across the country.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

China has made good on one of the late Chairman Mao's visions with the world's largest transfer project. Those living in the dry, Northern provinces turned on their taps December 12 and enjoyed water from all the way in the distant Hubei province. Invention ... continue reading


This is the new face of terrorism! Two dead after gun battle in Sydney Australia Watch

Image of Australian police stand outside a cafe in Sydney, in a 17 hour standoff with an Iranian immigrant that left two dead.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Australia, security forces stormed a cafe where a gunman was holding several hostages, ending a 16 hour siege. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Australian media has reported that two people, including the gunman, were killed after the security forces stormed the ... continue reading


More priests and male clergy encouraged to join fight against human trafficking Watch

Image of An Indian sex worker hides her face from the camera. More Catholic clergy are working to free women like these.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disguised along with local police officers, nuns in India have assisted local law enforcement in raids against brothels. Many women and young girls - some as young as 12 years of age, are saved from lives of prostitution. There are now calls for more members of the ... continue reading


'Twitter' used as a weapon of warfare: Indian man found tweeting pro-Islamist State messages Watch

Image of The Islamic States has used social media to spread its propaganda.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It has long been said that the next war would be an information war. An Indian man, since arrested, has been caught posting pro-Islamist State messages on Internet posting boards Twitter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Twenty-four-year-old engineer Mehdi Masroor ... continue reading


Chinese freight train makes world record trip through '21st Century Silk Railway' Watch

Image of The lengthy trip was all part of a plan to check the viability of adding Spain to a rail link that already connects China with Germany five times a week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Chinese freight train hauling Christmas cheer set a new record after finishing a three-week journey, the longest in the world, from Yiwu in Zhejiang Province to Spain's capital, Madrid. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traveling more than 8,000 miles of ... continue reading


For girls in rural Uttar Pradesh, internet access and computer skills can be the difference between life and death Watch

Image of While many government-run schools in India do teach children how to use the internet and computers, rural regions of the country often have no such luck.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

India is one of the world's fastest growing developing nations, and internet use in the country is also growing despite low-but increasing-wages. However, internet-literacy in this country, where more and more jobs require computer skills and internet access for ... continue reading


Mongolia to receive its first deacon - from Mongolia Watch

Image of The Catholic Church in Mongolia is small, but growing, dominated by foreign-born missionaries.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Apostolic Prefecture of Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia will receive its first indigenous deacon, 23-year-old Enkh Baatar during an ordination this week in South Korea. What's remarkable is that Baatar is Mongolian-born, in an area where the church is dominated by ... continue reading


Indian father strangles daughter's rapist, mutilates attacker with hot tongs Watch

Image of The rapist was a tenant of the 14-year-old daughter's father.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 36-year-old father lured the suspected rapist of his 14-year-old daughter into his Delhi home and cooked him dinner before slipping him a sleeping pill. He then strangled and applied burning hot tongs to his daughter's attacker's genitals. The father of six ... 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, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... 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