Iraq: Catholic priest kidnapped

 A Chaldean Catholic priest was abducted in Baghdad on Saturday. Father Nawzat Hanna, parish priest of Mar Pithion, was leaving the house of a sick parishioner, when he was stopped by a group of men who had been waiting for him, Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of the Archdiocese of Babylon told Bishop Warduni said the abductors had already made contact with the Chaldean Patriarchate, but last night there was no further news. He said: "We cannot go on living like this, it's inhuman, it's humiliating. We will pray for his immediate release, but we will not submit to fear." The Christian minorities in Iraq today are among the oldest in Christendom. They make up about 6% of the population, numbering fewer than one million out of a population of 17 million, although no count has been taken since the war. There are two main Christian groups: the Catholics (in 1993 around 650,000 people) consisting of: Chaldean Rite: more than 600,000; Syrian Rite: more than 47,000; Latin (Roman) Rite: around 4,000 and Armenian Rite: more than 3, 000. Other Christians (about 200,000) are the Church of the East, formerly Nestorian. More than 150,000 in 1993; the Syrian Orthodox: More than 40,000. and the Armenians number around 5,000 in 1993. Source: AsiaNews/

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