Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, has made a public appeal to "those who are holding the nuns and orphans kidnapped in Mosul three days ago". According to Fides Agency, the appeal expresses concern for the fate of the two nuns and three young people - two girls and a boy - asking for them to be released soon. In particular, the Patriarch turns to Muslim religious leaders and sheikhs of Sunni tribes in Mosul, asking them to do "everything possible" to secure the release of the hostages. In the appeal, the Chaldean Patriarch cites verses from the Koran that indicate to all believers to treat monks and orphans well, and highlights that Christians "were the first to receive the Muslim conquerors 14 centuries ago" and that currently in Iraq Christians do not identify with any political party. "This - concludes Patriarch Sako - is the Month of Ramadan, the month of mercy and charity. Let us all pray for the release of the nuns and orphans kidnapped".
Since Saturday June 28 we have no news about Sister Atur and Sister Miskinta, two Chaldean religious of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate who were returning to Mosul from the city of Dohuk in the company of two Christian girls and a Christian boy. The two nuns run a foster home for orphans in Mosul, near the Chaldean archbishopric. Due to the Islamist offensive which began on June 9, the nuns and all the guests had left the family home in Mosul and found refuge in the city of Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Only in the press release issued today, Patriarch Sako speaks of "kidnapping" concerning the disappearance of the nuns and three young people. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 01/07/2014)