Sunday, October 28, 2012

Priests & Martyrs Part 5 - Chaldean Martyrs of Iraq

Ragheed Aziz Ganni (20 January 1972MosulIraq - 3 June 2007, Mosul) was an ethnic Assyrian Chaldean Catholic priest. On June 3, 2007, Trinity Sunday,the Sunday after Pentecost, he was killed along with three subdeacons including his cousin Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed in front of Mosul's Holy Spirit Chaldean Church where he was parish priest. Fr. Ragheed had just finished celebrating the Sunday evening Divine Liturgy (Mass). The three deacons had recently decided to accompany Fr. Ragheed because of threats against his life. After Mass as he was walking away from the church with Daud and as Isho, Bidawed, and Isho's wife followed by car, the group was stopped by unknown armed men. One of the gunmen shouted at Fr. Ragheed that he had warned him to close the church and demanded to know why he didn't do it. Fr Ragheed replied asking "How can I close the house of God?" The gunmen ordered the woman to flee. Then after the gunmen demanded that the four men convert to Islam and they refused they were shot down. The car was then set with explosives to deter interference and so that the bodies would remain abandoned. Several hours passed until a police bomb-squad defused the devices allowing corpses to be recovered.

Thousands of people attended the funeral of the four men in Keremlish, Iraq on June 4m 2007. Father Ganni was secretary to Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldean Church, Iraq's largest Christian community. Rahho was murdered only nine months after Ganni's death, in the same city of Mosul.

Above from Wikipedia

For more information on Fr. Ragheed :

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