Basile Georges Casmoussa

Basile Georges Casmoussa

Basile Georges Casmoussa (born 25 October, 1938) is the Syrian Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq. He was, according to Vatican records, born in Iraq.

Casmoussa was ordained as a priest in June 1962 and worked for three decades as the editor of "Christian Source" and was active in the International Union of the Catholic Press. He was appointed Archbishop of Mosul in May 1999, taking up the post in December, with a congregation of 35,000. Although many Iraqi Christians have left the country because of attacks following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Casmoussa chose to stay.

Despite Pope John Paul II speaking out against the Iraqi military operations spearheaded by the United States, 66-year-old Casmoussa was kidnapped, reportedly by gunmen in Mosul, on January 17, 2005. Although there were fears that this marked a new wave of attacks on Christians in Iraq, it appeared that the motive was principally for ransom, reportedly US$200,000. The kidnapping was widely condemned.

The Archbishop was freed one day later on January 18 with no ransom being paid.

External links

* [http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=34013 Interview with Catholic World News]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3526386.stm BBC history of Iraqi Christians]


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