A Chaldean Catholic priest and three deacons were shot and killed in Mosul in northern Iraq on Sunday.
Father Ragheed Ganni and three deacons from his parish— Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, Gassan Isam Bidawed— were killed after celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy on Sunday.
As they left the church, the clerics’ car was stopped by a group of armed gunmen, who shot all 4 men and then rigged their car with explosives so that no one would dare remove their bodies. The car with the four murdered me remained in the city street, bearing witness to the killings, for several hours until a police bomb-squad defused the devices.
Fr. Ganni’s parish, Holy Spirit Church, had been attacked and vandalized several times recently. It’s believed this was the work of Islamic militants continuing their campaign to intimidate and force Iraqi Christians to leave the country, a campaign which is working unfortunately as tens of thousands have already fled to more hospitable countries.