Category Archives: Iraqi

Iraqi priests released; abductions and murders of Christians continue

Two Iraqi priests kidnapped more than a week ago said they returned to their Mosul parish in good health yesterday morning and immediately celebrated mass. Captors freed Father Pius Affas and Father Mazen Ishoa at an undisclosed location in Mosul at 11 a.m., Fr. Affas told Compass Monday. The release came a day after two other Christians were abducted and an Orthodox priest’s son was shot to death. Fr. Affas did not comment on whether the church had paid a $1 million ransom initially demanded by the kidnappers. The priests’ captors had given Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa until Saturday (October 20) to raise the money. Unknown men kidnapped Fr. Affas, 68, and Fr. Ishoa, in his 30s, on October 13 in Mosul’s Hay al-Thawra neighborhood.

-Compass Direct News

Iraqi bishop negotiates for kidnapped priests

An Iraqi bishop said today that he is negotiating for the release of two Christian clergymen kidnapped in Mosul this weekend. Syrian Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa said that he had spoken by telephone with the priests’ captors at 4 p.m. local time. A source close to the Archbishop said that the kidnappers had demanded an enormous ransom, widely reported as $1 million. Casmoussa denied media reports today that Father Pius Affas, 68, and Father Mazen Ishoa had been released. Unknown men abducted the Syrian Catholic priests in Mosul’s Hay al-Thawra neighborhood on Saturday afternoon (October 13). An Islamist group called Jihad and Tawhid had left threat letters at Fr. Affas’ St. Thomas church about two months ago, warning the congregation to leave. “If you do not leave this church we will attack,” the letter stated, according to a Syrian Catholic priest.

-Compass Direct News