Father Ragheed Gani and his three deacons who were murdered in Iraq in June were remembered at a Chaldean Mass in London. Bishop Andreas Abouna, auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, and Father Habib Jajou, led prayers for the three men at the Holy Family Church, West Acton, where the capitalâ€™s Chaldean Catholic community worship each week.
Father Ragheed, Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed were murdered by gunmen on June 3rd as they returned from Mass in Mosul, northern Iraq.
The Chaldean congregation in London was joined by a number of Catholics from Ireland. As a seminarian Father Ragheed used to visit Ireland and go on pilgrimage to Lough Derg.
Suha Rassam, a trustee of Iraqi Christians in Need, said, â€œFather Ragheed and the three deacons are martyrs of the Church in Iraq. The Church there is going through great suffering. I spoke on the phone to a priest in Baghdad yesterday and he told me that he has received 2,000 families into his parish. Many people have arrived with just their clothes. Christians are living in fear and facing intimidation. They donâ€™t know what their future will be.â€