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Iraqi Christians Say No to Death Sentence

Al-Qaeda leader should be punished, but the late archbishop wouldn't have wanted his abductor executed.

Whatever you think about the morality of the death penalty in general, you've got to admire the leaders of the Chaldean Christians in Iraq. In a land that is torn by ethnic and religious power struggles - a place where memories of past travesties are nurtured for the sake of political advantage - these Christians have responded in a very Christian manner to the Iraqi Central Criminal Court's death sentence for the Al Qaeda leader who abducted and perhaps killed their archbishop.

Paulos Faraj Rahho was kidnapped February 29. His body was discovered March 13. (The cause of death is still uncertain, since Rahho suffered from a heart condition and his body appeared not to have been shot.)

Compass Direct offers this report of church leaders' response to the death sentence:

Speaking from Baghdad, Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni said that Ahmed should be punished for his crime but that executing him would be pointless. "If somebody is killed I think there is no use in it for the Iraqi people," ...
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