Four Iraqi Chaldean Catholics have been kidnapped in Baghdad in the past three weeks, and two of them killed even after payment of a ransom. A third, Saad Galyana Shaba, was freed by kidnappers after a ransom payment, while the fourth, Dr Bashar Ghanem Al Akrawi, was rescued by police.
Qais Abd Shaya and Saher Hanna Sony were killed even though their families had sought to secure their release through payment of a ransom.
A statement issued by the Chaldean Patriarchate office said: “It is unfortunate that the security situation continues to deteriorate and that some individuals and groups exploit it to carry out the kidnapping of innocent people in order to gain sums of money and to terrorise civilians.”
On 9 July a Christian MP, Imad Youkhana Yako, urged his colleagues and security forces to take more responsibility to protect the Christian community.
Up to 70 per cent of houses belonging to Christian families in Baghdad who have fled the city to escape violence, have been expropriated illegally with the complicity of corrupt officials and fraudsters.
The statement from the Patriarchate continued: “We call upon the governmental authorities and the security forces in Baghdad to protect the lives and the property of our people, and to issue a decision to ban the sale of Christian homes, except by a recommendation of the Church. We also call upon the aggressors to remember that such forbidden behavior cannot continue.”