"The death of Archbishop Rahho was shocking," say Iraqi Christians
(dpa) - Iraqi Christians expressed sorrow over the killing of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was abducted in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul two weeks ago.
"The news of Rahho's killing was shocking to all of us. We can't do anything to him now, but to pray that he would be blessed in heaven," Christian Antoinette Khoshaba, 47, told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa.
The 33-year-old Samer Zaia said the archbishop's death was saddening and painful to the Christian community in Iraq.
"It is really upsetting that faithful people as Rahho would be killed by militants, who have not left anyone to live peacefully in Iraq," Zaia said.
He stressed that targeting Rahho was aimed against all united Iraqis.
"We are all united and the death of a Muslim or any person from another religion is also considered a great loss to all Christians. The matter also goes the other way around," Zaia said.
Another Iraqi Christian, Matta Youssef, said that every day, Iraq loses many people due to the violence around the country.
"This is unacceptable. We are all victims of violence and this will never be limited unless all Iraqis close ranks, regardless of their ethnicities and religions," Youssef said.
Rahho was abducted on February 29 by gunmen who stopped his car and killed the driver and two other passengers.
A forensic medical source told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency that the archbishop's body was found by Iraqi police in the Intsar district north of Mosul.
Iraq's Christian minority is estimated to be one million of a total population of 27 million. Chaldean Christians are the largest group.
Christians and churches have been targeted by extremists in sectarian violence that has engulfed Iraq since the US-led war in 2003.