500 people attend funeral of Father Eskander
- 500 people attend funeral of Father Eskander
Iraq: 500 people attend funeral of beheaded priest Father Eskander's
decapitated body was found on Wednesday in Mosul's Muharaibin
neighbourhood -- his arms showed signs of torture
Friday, October 13, 2006
Some 500 people attended yesterday the funeral of Fr Paulos Eskandar
at Mosul's Syrian-Orthodox St Ephrem Church. Father Eskandar, who
was abducted on Monday, was founded beheaded some time later.
The clergyman's relatives confirmed that his captors had demanded the
payment of a US$ 350,000 ransom and that his church apologise for the
Pope's Regensburg remarks about Islam.
In condemning the murder, Mgr Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary Chaldean
bishop of Baghdad, confirmed "negotiations were underway but that
the amount of money was too high and could not be raised. For this
reason they decapitated him".
Father Eskander's decapitated body was found on Wednesday in Mosul's
Muharaibin neighbourhood. His arms showed signs of torture.
Iraq's highest Sunni religious authority, the Ulema Council, called
the priest's death "a cowardly murder". In a press release, they
said that the Orthodox priest was well known for "his nationalist
views and opposition to the occupation".
"The Ulema Council," the statement said, "condemns this cowardly
killing and will not forget those who are behind this crime,
committed by people who want to deprive the country of every
religious and national symbol that can hold Iraq together by trying
to start a religious war between sons of the same nation".
Thomas Daniel (Reji)