Chaldean Patriarchate: Reports of priest murdered in Mosul unfounded

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by Joseph Mahmoud
In an official statement the Iraqi Church leader rejects the recent rumors. There are no Christians left in the Islamic State stronghold; no priest is currently in the hands of jihadists. The Patriarchate asks for prudence: by reporting fabricated news stories, which frighten Christians and the West, you are “playing the Jihadists game”.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The Chaldean Patriarchate “strongly denies recent news stories that report a priest being executed by Islamic State militants in Mosul”. In recent days, rumors spread of the execution of a certain Fr. Paul Jacoub, detained for more than eight months by jihadists. However, in a statement sent to AsiaNews, the Chaldean Church leaders say that the news is unfounded.

The statement signed by the Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael I Sako reads that “there has never been a priest of this name in the Iraqi Church”, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. He adds that now “there are no more Christians in Mosul,” the second-largest city in Iraq and since last June stronghold of the Islamic State militia.

The Chaldean Patriarchate also asks media not to circulate these false rumors, which are only intended to scare the local Christians and the Western world. “At the very moment we spread them – he warns- we end up playing into the jihadists hands”.

Finally, the Chaldean Patriarchate remembers that the two religious kidnapped in Mosul last July were released after two weeks and that, to date, there are no priests kidnapped in Mosul or in the hands of Islamist militias.