How do we respond in the face of evil, especially to those who inflict grave evil upon us? Abducted in Iraq is Bishop Saad Sirop Hanna’s account of his abduction in 2006 by a militant group associated with al-Qaeda. The Bishop is a good friend of our 3 Churches, through having sisters and other family here. He is a Bishop of the Chaldean Rite of the Catholic Church, and currently Apostolic Visitor for Chaldeans in Europe.
As a young parish priest and lecturer near Baghdad, Fr Hanna was kidnapped after celebrating Mass and released twenty-eight days later. His plight attracted international attention after Pope Benedict XVI requested prayers for his safe return. The book charts his captivity as he struggles through threats, torture, and the unknown. He questions what a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq means for the future, as well as the events that led the country on that path. Through extreme hardship, the young priest gains a greater knowledge, both of his faith and of remaining true to himself.
Bishop Saad’s story reflects the experience of persecuted Christians all over the world today, especially the plight of Iraqi Christians who continue to live and hold their faith against tremendous odds. It sheds light on the complex political and spiritual situation that Catholics face in predominantly non-Christian nations. So this is also the story of a suffering and persecuted people It will be of great interest to those wanting to learn more about the violence in the Middle East and the threats facing Christians there, as well as all those seeking to strengthen their own faith.
“Abducted in Iraq – A Priest in Baghdad” Saad Sirop Hanna, with Edward S. Aris Notre Dame Press