Nuns and young Chaldeans arrested in Mosul have been set free

Mosul – Protesters call for an end to anti-Christian attacks
(©lapresse) Mosul – Protesters call for an end to anti-Christian attacks
Sister Atur, Sister Miskinta and three young Chaldeans were arrested by Islamic State militants on 28 June. Archbishop Nona says “no ransom was paid”
Gianni Valente

The two nuns and three young Chaldeans – two girls and a boy – who were stopped and held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been set free and are in good health. ISIL has made the city of Mosul – which lies northeast of the Nineveh Plains – the centre of the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate.

Vatican Insider received confirmation of the release of the five individuals from the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Amel Shimon Nona. “Sister Atur, Sister Miskinta and the three young people are well,” the archbishop said. “They have already returned to Dohuk. We managed to contact them by phone on Sunday 13 July andthey said they would be released today. No ransom was paid to secure their release because the abductors had not requested one.”

The two Chaldean nuns from the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate ran Mosul’s foster home for orphans near the Chaldean archbishopric, along with the other sisters in the religious institute. “In all these terrible years for our Country” refers to Fides Sister Luigina Sako, Superior of the Chaldean Sisters, “Sisters Atur and Miskinta have done a great job, without ever abandoning Mosul and allowing the girls to study,” Sister Luigina Sako, Superior of the Chaldean Sisters, told Catholic news agency Fides. The nuns and all of the foster home’s residents fled Mosul following the offensive launched by Sunni rebels led by ISIL militants on 9 June. They sought refuge in the city of Dohuk in Iraqi Kurdistan. Sister Atur made quick visits to Mosul to check on the house and retrieve some of the girls’ belongings and work and study kits.

The two nuns disappeared on 28 June along with three of the young orphans who accompanied them on one of these brief visits to Mosul. Church authorities contacted religious leaders of Mosul’s Sunni community immediately, to keep the situation under control and ensure that the individuals who had been stopped by ISIL’s militants were granted complete freedom of movement. “We were extremely worried for them, especially for girls,” Luigina Sako said. “We are overjoyed by the news that came from Dohuk today,” she added.