Priests say Iraqi Christians now victims of extortion, even death
Published: November 7, 2005
ROME (CNS) -- Some Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have become the victims of extortion as unknown terrorist groups threaten to kill them or kidnap family members if they do not pay large sums of cash, said two Iraqi priests. One 43-year-old Christian man, married with three children, "was killed last week because he didn't pay," said Dominican Father Mekhail Nageeb of Nineveh, near Mosul. He spoke in a telephone interview with Catholic News Service Nov. 2. After a group of unidentified men went to the man's workplace to extract money from him, "he tried not to pay and he ran out, so they killed him," said the Iraqi-born priest, who is the Dominicans' superior in Mosul. Chaldean Father Sabah Patto, who was visiting Rome, told CNS that Christians are sometimes told they are paying a "protection tax."
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .