Pictures from the funeral included

An Aramaic Syriac orthodox priest was shot to death yesterday Saturday morning in a neighbourhood of the capital of Baghdad.

Father Youssef Adel was gunned down and killed in a drive-by shooting in one of Baghdad’s considered safest neighbourhoods Karrada. This barbaric attack took place outside of his house near the St. Peter and Paul Syriac Orthodox church where he presides.

Father Youssef Adel, had once before escaped the Sunni dominant neighbourhood of Dora and the slaughtering of the Christians, at a time when rebellious Islamic were burning down churches and Christian homes.

Father Youssef Adel and his wife Lamia moved to a considerably safe area called Karradah and became the priest of St. Peter and Paul Syriac Orthodox Church.

But the Christian blood colours the streets of Iraq, and father Youssef Adel became yet another martyr of the Syriac Orthodox Church. On 9th October 2006 another west Aramaic Syriac Orthodox Priest was kidnapped and beheaded by a terrorist group in Mosul. His name was Paulus Iskander Behnam of St. Afrem Church.

Father Youssef Adel was shot down with a silencer, and collapsed in front of his home. Neighbours and arameans (syriacs) from all over the district flocked and cried outside father Youssef Adel house.

His was brought to the church of Saint Peter and Paul Syriac Orthodox Church and the funeral was led by the Archbishop of Baghdad Severius Hawa and Syriac orthodox clergy on Sunday morning.

The Patriarch of Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, condemned this barbaric action and said “We should not surrender to grief but we must look on his departure through the eye of faith and see his pious spirit flying in paradise with the spirits of the martyrs, saints and devout priests.”

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his sorrow over the killing of this Aramaic Syriac orthodox priest and urged for an end to the violence in Iraq.

Pictures from the funeral!

Josef Aslan MU