Kidnapped Priest Released

BAGHDAD, Iraq, MAY 22, 2007 ( The abducted Chaldean priest, Father Nawzat Hanna, has been released after three days of captivity.

Father Nawzat is now safe in Baghdad, but it is clear his captors beat him, reported today.

The parish priest was abducted in the al-Baladiyat quarter of Baghdad on Saturday as he left the home of a sick parishioner.

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad said Monday that Father Nawzat’s captors were demanding a high ransom for his release. Whether or not a ransom was paid has not been reported.

“When he saw me,” Bishop Warduni said, “Father Nawzat firmly embraced me. He was in tears and he was deeply tried; he then thanked all of those who had prayed for him in these days, the Virgin and the saint of his parish.

“Let us pray that these episodes do not happen again and that our priest finds the courage to remain in Iraq, to serve his Church.”