Iraqi Christians are often targeted by Islamists but are finding some support.
Shiite tribal leaders attend Christmas mass at an Assyrian orthodox church in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2007. The church, which is located next to a Shiite mosque, hosted their neighbors for Christmas mass as a gesture of friendship.
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
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Gunmen kidnapped the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul on Friday in the northern Iraqi city and killed his driver and two companions, police said.
“He was kidnapped in the al-Nour district in eastern Mosul when he left a church. Gunmen opened fire on the car, killed the other three and kidnapped the archbishop,” said provincial police spokesman Brigadier-General Khaled Abdul Sattar.
An assistant to Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad and spiritual leader of Iraq’s Catholics, said they had heard that three people had been killed and they did not know the fate of the archbishop, Paulos Faraj Rahho.
A number of Christian clergy have been kidnapped or killed, and churches bombed in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Last June gunmen murdered Catholic priest Ragheed Aziz Kani and three assistants in Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, after stopping his car near a church in the eastern part of the city.